Father Stan Swamy transcended narrow confines of his ethnicity and religion: Fr Cedric Prakash

"Identifying with the Adivasis", he tried to work towards "a more humane, just, dignified and peaceful life" for them. "Fr Stan was one of the 16 people arrested in Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy case"


Rukmini Sen

"Identifying with the Adivasis", he tried to work towards " a more humane, just, dignified and peaceful life" for them. "Fr Stan was one of the 16 people arrested in the Bhima Koregaon Conspiracy case".

What is the Bhima Koregaon Case?

On the 31st of December 2017, an event was organised at the Shaniwarwada Fort in Pune. This was on the eve of the bicentennial anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon. Numerous activists, former judges and political leaders had come together to show solidarity towards the constitution of the country. Several Dalit families were attacked and assaulted. They claimed that the people, who attacked them were from the right-wing brigade. The first FIR filed was against men from Hindutva groups. A later version of the Pune Police, claims that the event was organised by members of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). It adds that the aim of such an event was to “spread rebellious thoughts”, instigating violence at Bhima Koregaon and establishing a nationwide “anti-fascist front” to “wage war against the government”.

Justices BG Kolse-Patil and PB Sawant challenged these police claims. They insisted they were the “main organisers and sole funders” of the Elgaar Parishad. “We have openly been saying this from the beginning,” said Kolse-Patil, who retired from his post as a Bombay High Court judge in 1990. He worked against extremism after his retirement. “We organised Elgaar Parishad with the simple motive of spreading the message of fighting communal forces.”

Fr Cedric Prakash told National Herald, "we need to ask why was Fr Stan arrested?". He added, "There is not a shred of evidence. NIA and other investigative agencies haven't been able to prove anything." The agencies had said "he has links with ultra-left groups. However, the agencies haven't been able to show anything. They took away his frugal belongings and his computer. Highly sophisticated tech groups like Arsenal Consultants of United States have shown how things can be planted in one's computer".

Fr Cedric Prakash asserts, "Fr. Stan Swami was illegally incarcerated. He had never been to Elgar Parishad or Bhima Koregaon. His friends may have gone there like I have my friends there That's irrelevant. He wasn't there and he wasn't responsible for the violence. His arrest was totally unwarranted, unjustified and illegal."

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