Rights

Elgar Parishad Case: NIA Opposes Activist Stan Swamy's Bail Plea

The 83-year-old Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist was arrested on October 8, and is currently lodged in Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai.

Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday opposed the bail plea filed by tribal rights activist Stan Swamy, arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, and alleged that he was involved in the conspiracy related to the 2017 episode and also engaged with the Naxalite movement.

The NIA, in an affidavit filed through special public prosecutor Prakash Shetty in response to Swamy’s bail plea in a special court, claimed that it has sufficient evidence to prima facie prove that the accused was involved in the deep-rooted conspiracy and was directly involved in Naxalite movement.

The 83-year-old Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist was arrested on October 8, and is currently lodged in Taloja prison in Navi Mumbai.

The NIA affidavit claimed a similar case has been filed against Swamy in the past in Jharkhand, his home state.

The central agency added that it was still probing the emails and other digital evidence gathered by it from Swamy’s computer and sought rejection of his bail plea.

The special NIA court will hear the bail application on December 21.

On that day, the court will also hear other applications filed by Swamy seeking a direction to the NIA to return his bag, seized by the agency at the time of his arrest, and to also get a copy of his laptop’s hard disk cloned.

NIA’s advocate Shetty on Monday told the court that it does not have any bag belonging to Swamy, and sought time to respond to the application seeking a cloned copy of his hard disk.

In his bail plea filed through advocate Sharif Shaikh, Swamy said that he was being targeted by the NIA due to the nature of his writings and work about caste and land struggles of the people of India, and violation of democratic rights of the marginalised citizens of India.

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The bail plea also said that Swamy was not connected in any way to the organisation of the “Elgar Parishad” event in Pune on December 31, 2017.

Violence erupted in the vicinity of a war memorial in Koregaon-Bhima, on the outskirts of Pune city, on January 1, 2018, allegedly after provocative speeches were made at the Elgar Parishad conclave.

The Pune police, which initially probed the case, claimed that the conclave was backed by outlawed Maoist groups.

The NIA later took over the probe in the case in which a number of left-wing activists and academicians have been named as the accused.