CHANDIGARH: Civil society members of Chandigarh, on Tuesday, staged a protest in Sector 17 over the death of rights activist Father Stan Swamy (84), in prison.

Speakers termed his death a “merciless killing of a political prisoner.” Before his arrest, eight months ago, Swamy had said in a video how he was being falsely framed in the Bhima Koregaon case, said Amandeep of PSU (Lalkaar), a student group which participated in the protest.

The protest was a small remembrance meeting. “Swamy also said he was paying the price for raising his voice for falsely imprisoned adivasis (tribals). He stood by his word and fought against injustice till his last breath,” said Amandeep.

Amandeep said while they saluted the sacrifice and spirit of Swamy, they condemned government action against him and his incareceration without trial. “Like many others, Swami was repeatedly denied interim bail in spite of deteriorating health. He suffered from life-threatening diseases like Parkinson’s and was denied basic medical treatment,” Amandeep said.

Prof Chaman Lal, a former dean (faculty of languages) of PU, equated Swamy’s death in prison to the martyrdom of Jatin Das.
“The government of India and the entire judicial system should be held accountable for such atrocities and violations of human rights and civil liberties using black laws like UAPA. We should unitedly fight to repeal such draconian laws and for the release of political prisoners,” he added. In the end, candles were lit in the memory of Swamy.