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Shift Stan Swamy to a Hospital: Jharkhand Activists Write to Maharashtra Govt

In a letter addressed to the Maharashtra chief minister, activists pointed out that Swamy, who had been arrested last year in the ongoing investigation in the Elgar Parishad case, was a Parkinson’s disease patient.

New Delhi: The Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of people’s organisations and activists in the state, has urged the Maharashtra government to immediately shift tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy, who is currently lodged at Taloja jail, to a hospital and be provided with medical treatment.

In a letter addressed to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray and Maharashtra Home Minister Dilip Walse Patil, the network of activists pointed out that Swamy was a Parkinson’s disease patient and was experiencing severe tremors in both hands. “He has trouble drinking from a glass, taking bath and washing clothes on his own. He also has serious hearing problem and needs hearing aid for both ears. He was operated twice for hernia in the recent past,” the letter said.

Swamy was arrested in October last year in the ongoing investigation in the Elgar Parishad case.

As per the letter Stan called up his colleague and informed that he was unwell on May 14. Following that, he was too weak to speak on the phone and medications had failed to alleviate his health as well. “He is yet to be tested for covid. He has also not yet received his first vaccine shot,” the letter by Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha said.

Also read: Release Activists Arrested in Elgar Parishad Case, Families Ask Maha CM as COVID-19 Rages

In view of the rising cases of COVID-19, the coalition of activists urged the authorities to immediately shift Swamy to a hospital and added that it would “be really helpful if he is shifted to a hospital like Holy Family or Holy Spirit where his Jesuit colleagues can take care of him”.

The letter also noted that adivasis, gram sabhas, civil society, several political leaders and parties and Jharkhand’s chief minister had extended support to him.

The entire text of the letter has been reproduced below.

§

To

Shri Dilip Walse Patil

Home Minister

Maharashtra

Dear Shri Patil

Urgent need to shift Stan Swamy to a good hospital

Stan Swamy is an 84 year old Jesuit priest who is currently in Taloja jail. He was arrested on 8 October 2020 under UAPA in the Bhima Koregaon case. He moved from Tamil Nadu to Jharkhand several decades ago and has spent his entire life fighting for Adivasi rights and the rights of the underprivileged.

Stan Swamy is a Parkinson’s disease patient with severe tremors in both hands. As a result, he has trouble drinking from a glass, taking bath and washing clothes on his own. He also has serious hearing problem and needs hearing aid for both ears. He was operated twice for hernia in the recent past.

On 14 May, Stan called up his colleague and shared that he was unwell. For the first time since his arrest, he said that he was feeling very weak and fragile. Following that he was too weak even to speak on the phone and his condition had to be described by others. Stan has fever, cough and a running stomach. He was given antibiotics by the ayurvedic doctor of the jail. The medicines did not help much. He is yet to be tested for covid. He has also not yet received his first vaccine shot.

There are reports of rising covid cases in the Taloja jail. In this situation, Stan should be immediately shifted to a good hospital and given adequate medical treatment. It will be really helpful if he is shifted to a hospital like Holy Family or Holy Spirit where his Jesuit colleagues can take care of him.

Stan is an elderly and ailing person, with limited mobility and no history of violence against others. Adivasis, Gram Sabhas, civil society, several political leaders and parties, and Jharkhand’s Chief Minister himself have expressed support and solidarity with him. We also sincerely hope that he gets immediate bail.

Copy: Shri Udhav Thackeray, Chief Minister, Maharashtra; Shri Satej Patil, Minister of State for Home (Urban);

Thank you

Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha