Stan Swamy arrest: Jesuit fathers hold silent protest

Jesuit fathers hold protest in front of St. Joseph’s College in Tiruchi on Monday.  

Jesuit fathers and staff of St. Joseph's College observed a silent protest on Monday condemning the arrest of Rev. Fr. Stan Swamy, an 83-year-old priest working in Ranchi, Jharkhand, by the National Investigation Agency last week in connection with the controversial Bhima Koregoan-Elgar Parishad case and the “deplorable” treatment meted out to him.

The protesters questioned the need for the NIA to take the aged priest to Mumbai in the midst of the global pandemic, notwithstanding the Jharkhand Government’s directive that those above 60 years of age must not venture in public.

Rev. Fr. Stan Swamy had extended cooperation in the investigation, presenting himself for questioning for over 15 hours at the Jesuit Residence in Bagaicha, Ranchi, during July and August, and denying all allegations made against him.

Citing poor health and advanced age, the priest had expressed difficulty in undertaking a long travel, and was willing to face interrogation through video-conferencing.

In a video statement made prior to his arrest, Ref. Fr. Stan Swamy had said that activists like him, and lawyers, writers, journalists, student leaders, intellectuals and others who espoused the rights of Adivasis, Dalits and the marginalised were being targeted by the rulers of the country.

Expressing solidarity with the octogenarian priest and demanding his release, the Jesuits of St. Joseph's College, School and Parish observed a silent protest adhering to COVID norms.

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Printable version | Nov 30, 2020 8:41:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Tiruchirapalli/priest-arrest-jesuit-fathers-hold-silent-protest/article32838003.ece

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