Jail inmates observe hunger strike over Stan Swamy's death

Jail inmates observe hunger strike over Stan Swamy's death

He suffered a cardiac arrest and died at a Mumbai hospital on Monday in the middle of his fight for bail on health grounds.

Ten accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case went on a one-day hunger strike in the Taloja jail in neighbouring Navi Mumbai on Wednesday to protest against what they termed as an "institutional murder" of co-accused Jesuit priest Stan Swamy.

They also demanded action against officials of the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is conducting a probe into the Elgar Parishad case, and former superintendent of the Taloja jail.

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Swamy, 84, was arrested by the NIA from Ranchi in October 2020 under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and lodged at the Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai.

He suffered a cardiac arrest and died at a Mumbai hospital on Monday in the middle of his fight for bail on health grounds.

The Elgar Parishad case is related to inflammatory speeches made at a conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which, the police claimed, triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city.

The police had claimed the conclave was organised by people with alleged Maoist links.

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The other accused in the case termed Swamy's death an "institutional murder" and held the "negligent jails, indifferent courts and malicious investigating agencies" responsible for it.

As a mark of protest, 10 of the co-accused in the case - Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Sudhir Dhawale, Mahesh Raut, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde, Ramesh Gaichor and Sagar Gorkhe - went on a one-day fast in the Taloja jail on Wednesday.

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