Justice for Stan Swamy: Candlelight march held

Participants urge Centre to free human rights’ defenders and undertrial prisoners

July 29, 2021 12:25 am | Updated 12:25 am IST - Bengaluru

Fr. Stan Swamy

Fr. Stan Swamy

Demanding justice for the late Fr. Stan Swamy and all unjustly accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, the faculty and students of various institutions and representatives of civil societies observed a silent candlelight march on Museum Road on Wednesday.

According to a release, the participants urged the Centre to free human rights’ defenders and undertrial prisoners languishing in jails in appalling conditions.

Organised by the Jesuit Provincial of South Asia, the National Justice Day event was held to urge the government to defend democracy, to repeal Sedition Law, Unlawful Atrocities (Prevention) Act, and repressive State laws, and to restore citizens’ right to dissent.

The march was preceded with a keynote address by social activist Shiv Sundar at St Joseph’s Boys High School auditorium. Mr. Sundar emphasised that the ideals of democracy are crumbling in the country. Pointing to the death of Fr. Stan, he said the country can speak of democracy only during elections. All the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case are falsely accused as they were fighting for the welfare of the tribals much against the interest of the corporates. He also added that all governments be it UPA or NDA have only served the interests of the corporates, the release said.

The programme was presided over by Fr. Dionysius Vaz SJ, provincial of Karnataka Jesuit Province. Fr. Vaz said: “Fr. Stan Swamy’s death is not an end; it is yet another moment of awakening in our journey to affirm our faith in the Constitution of our country. Amidst growing inequalities, violence, atrocities, discrimination and exclusion in our country, ‘not to be a silent spectator’ is the message that Fr. Stan Swamy left for us. He inspired us to spread the values of the Preamble to the Constitution of our country, as the caged bird can still sing and sing in chorus.”

He urged the participants to carry forward the legacy of Fr. Stan Swamy by showing solidarity with the voiceless and the marginalied.

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