10 Opposition leaders write to President expressing outrage over Stan Swamy’s death, demand accountability

New Delhi: Leaders of ten Opposition parties including former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, NCP chief Sharad Pawar and TMC’s Mamata Banerjee wrote a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday (July 6) expressing outrage over the death of tribal rights activist Stan Swamy.

Noting that Swamy was jailed on “trumped-up charges under the draconian UAPA”, the leaders highlighted the “ill-treatment” meted out to him while in custody.

“We are writing to you in deep anguish expressing our intense grief and outrage at the death of Father Stan Swamy under custody,” the leaders said in a joint statement.

“The 84-year-old Jesuit priest and activist who championed the rights and causes of the adivasis in far flung areas of Jharkhand was jailed last October on trumped-up charges under the draconian UAPA and was sought to be linked with the Bhima Koregaon case,” the letter read.

“He was denied treatment for his various ailments including debilitating Parkinson’s. Only after a nationwide campaign was conducted that even a sipper to drink liquids was made available to him in jail,” it added.

The leaders urged the President to take action against “those responsible for foisting false cases on (Swamy), his continued detention in jail and inhuman treatment”.

They must be held accountable, they asserted.

Other leaders who signed the letter included MK Stalin (DMK), Hemant Soren (JMM), Farooq Abdullah (JKPA), Tejaswi Yadav (RJD), D Raja (CPI) and Sitaram Yechury (CPI-M).

Yesterday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had tweeted that Swamy deserved justice and humaneness.

“Heartfelt condolences on the passing of Father Stan Swamy. He deserved justice and humaneness,” Gandhi wrote.

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