The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Saturday alleged that Father Stan Swamy, accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, was actually accomplishing the agenda of Communist Party of India (Maoist) under the pretence of voicing concerns of the tribal community. It said that his bail plea must be rejected.
Fr. Swamy, 83, currently at Taloja Central Jail, was arrested from Ranchi on October 9, 2020 and was sent to judicial custody. He is charged under several sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty, appearing for the central agency, argued that during the investigation it was established that Fr. Swamy was a staunch supporter of the activities of organisations such as Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan and People’s Union for Civil Liberties, which were “working as frontal organisations of CPI (Maoist)”.
Arguing for the fourth day in a row, Mr. Shetty said Fr. Swamy had tried to dispose of evidence by deleting files showing his involvement in activities of the CPI (Maoist) and that the NIA had recovered those files. The act of deleting the files showed his intention was to try to escape justice, Mr. Shetty charged.
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He also contended that, “Under the pretence of voicing the concerns of the tribal community, the accused is actually accomplishing the agenda of CPI (Maoist). The ghastly truth is that in the name of social causes, Fr. Swamy and the co-accused are actually working to achieve goals of the CPI (Maoist).”
Mr. Shetty said the bail plea must be rejected because NIA has found that a large amount of money was received by Fr. Swamy and was also disbursed. So the agency needed to investigate the same.
Fr. Swamy is seeking bail on the grounds that the prosecution has failed to establish how he has taken part or committed or incited the commission of any unlawful activity. Hence, Section 13 (punishment for unlawful activities) of UAPA cannot be applied. The prosecution has not brought anything on record to suggest that Fr. Swamy was involved in any kind of terrorist act. Therefore, Section 16 (punishment for terrorist act), 20 (punishment for being member of terrorist gang or organisation), 39 (offence relating to support given to a terrorist organisation) of UAPA are not applicable to him.
Fr. Swamy has Parkinson’s Disease, has lost his hearing ability and suffers from lumbar spondylosis.