84-year-old tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy, an under-trial in the Bhima Koregaon case, was reportedly placed on ventilator support, at Mumbai’s Holy Family Hospital on Sunday, 4 July.
His colleague Father Joseph Xavier confirmed the news to Scroll, and stated that Swamy remains in ‘critical condition’. His lawyer too informed the same to The Indian Express.
Meanwhile, the National Human Rights Commission has issued a notice to the Maharashtra government seeking that ‘every possible effort’ is made to provide medical care and treatment to Stan Swamy.
Stan Swamy also suffers from Parkinson’s disease
‘Make All Efforts to Save Stan Swamy’
The NHRC, as per PTI, said in a statement:
“”The NHRC, looking into the complaint, alleging serious health condition of imprisoned Fr. Stan Swamy (84 years), has today issued a notice to the chief secretary, government of Maharashtra, calling upon him to ensure that every possible efforts are made in providing him proper medical care and treatment as part of life saving measure and protection of his basic human rights.”” –
Further, NHRC informed that they had received a complain on 16 May saying that Swamy was being denied medical facility during the COVID-19 period.
“It was also alleged that he had not been vaccinated yet and that there was no proper medical care in the jail hospital.”
United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Mary Lowlor also took to Twitter on Sunday to state that she is deeply saddened to hear about Swamy’s ill health and that she expects “every possible specialist treatment will be provided to him”.
In May, Swamy’s health condition had deteriorated, and civil society groups had urged the authorities to bring him immediate medical attention. Following this, he was, on Bombay High Court’s order, hospitalised. In the hospital, had tested positive for COVID-19.
Following this, the High Court, had on 17 June had instructed for Swamy to continue in the hospital till 5 July.
On Sunday, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasaba, tweeted, about Swamy’s health condition and renewed their demand for his release.
“The NIA [the National Investigation Agency] and central government are solely responsible for the sufferings of this elderly person and the current state of affairs,” wrote the civil society group.
Who is Fr Stan Swamy?
Father Stan Swamy is a Jesuit priest and a tribal rights activist, who has worked in Jharkhand for over three decades on various issues faced by the Adivasi communities pertaining to land, forest and labour rights.
He has questioned the non-implementation of the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, which stipulated setting up of a Tribes Advisory Council with members solely of the Adivasi community. He had, through the course of his career, challenged the “indiscriminate” arrest of thousands of young Adivasis and moolvasis with investigating agencies labelling them as “Naxals”.
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