“We Stand with Stan,” say more than two thousand concerned citizens of India

I am paying price for raising the issues of people’s rights, and I am proud of it, says Stan in a video before getting arrested

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Ranchi: More than two thousands concerned citizens from across India jointly issued an statement in solidarity with 84-year-old human rights activist Stan Swamy, who was arrested by National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday in connection with Bhima-Koregaon case.

The under signies, which include several prominent dignetries from all walks of life also appealed Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren to intervene into the matter. Hemant Soren, as leader of opposition had opposed the action by Pune Police when they had raided Stan’s office first time.

“The recent arrest of Stan Swamy is a gross violation of human rights and democratic norms. We, the undersigned, strongly condemn the arrest of Jharkhand’s Stan Swamy by the NIA in the Bhima-Koregaon case on the evening of 8 October 2020. Stan Swamy, 84 years old, is a valued and public-spiritedness citizen who has worked for Adivasi rights since decades in Jharkhand. The inhuman and insincere act of the NIA authorities in arresting Stan Swamy stands out for its sheer vindictiveness for Stan fully cooperated with the investigating officers of the NIA when they questioned him at his residence in Bagaicha for over 15 hours (on 27-30 July and 6 August),” reads the statement.

It further said, “Stan has consistently denied any link with extremist leftist forces or Maoists. He had also clearly told the NIA that some so called extracts allegedly taken from his computer shown to him by the NIA were fake and fabricated and that he disowned them. It is deeply worrying that the NIA arrested an 84-year old with several health ailments during the Covid epidemic and made him travel to Mumbai. Stan’s statement, written two days before the arrest, is attached. His video testimony can be seen below.”

The statement also mentioned the main reason, why the veteran activist has been framed by Modi government, “Stan works for the rights of Adivasis and other underprivileged groups in the state. Among other issues, he works on displacement, corporate loot of resources, the condition of under-trials and PESA. Stan has been a vocal critic of the BJP government’s attempts to amend land laws and the land acquisition act in Jharkhand, and a strong advocate of the Forest Rights Act, PESA and related laws. We know Stan as an exceptionally gentle, honest and selfless person. We have the highest regard for him and his work.”

And added, “We firmly believe that the Bhima-Koregaon case, being driven by the Modi government, is a baseless fabrication. The central government, in the guise of the Bhima-Koregaon case, is trying to build a false narrative of a national Maoist conspiracy against the state that involves these activists. The main objective of the case is to target and harass activists who work for the rights of Adivasis, Dalits and the marginalised and raise questions against the anti-people policies of the government. The Bhima-Koregaon conspiracy case exposes the extent to which the central government is willing to undermine constitutional values and suppress dissent. The arrest of Stan Swamy is also an attack on all those working for human and constitutional rights in Jharkhand.”

Lastly, it appealed to Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren to oppose the arrest of Stan, “In June 2019, when the Maharashtra police had raided Stan Swamy’s residence at Bagaicha in the Bhima-Koregaon case, the then leader of opposition Hemant Soren had strongly condemned this and said: “Back in power, BJP government is back to dirty business, stifling all voices of dissent. Stan Swamy has been a leading voice tribal rights and welfare. I strongly condemn this forceful and unwarranted raids in his house.”

And demand from the central government for the immediate release of Stan Swamy and closure of the case.

Some of the names and affiliations are:

Name  Affiliation  Place
A C MichaelFormer Member, Delhi Minorities CommissionNew Delhi
A David RebelloGurgaon
A D’SouzaMumbai
A F C LopezThiruvananthapuram
A P JosyPUCLChhattisgarh
A. Joe FranklinTamil Nadu, Trichy
A. VasanthiSspsT. N
AabidaConcerned CitizenUttar Pradesh
Aaron D’ AlmeidaPeople who bring peace to Adivasi rights let them workAndheri Mumbai
Aashish GuptaUniversity of Pennsylvania
Aashish KhakhaTata Institute of Social SciencesMumbai
Achintya MukherjeeIndividualPanchratna, Almeida Road, Bandra West
Adele PereiraMumbai
Adhersh ITamilnadu
AdityanathSamajwadi Jan Parishad RajasthanJaipur
Adivasi Women’s Network
Admiral L RamdasFormer Chief of Naval Staff [retired]Alibag, RAIGAD Dist, Maharashtra
Adolfina XavierMount Carmel CollegeBangalore
Adrian Castelino.Mumbai
Adrian CorreaMumbai
Adv Charles DSaVoice of Kalina ALM, Mumbai
Adv. Jomol JoyKerala
Adv. RazaullahAssociation for Protection of Civil RightsRanchi
Advika PandeyRanchi
Advocate Nikita AgarwalNew Delhi
Agnel PereiraMumbai
Agnelo MenezesSt Xavier’s College, MumbaiMUMBAI
Agnes AlmeidaGujarat
Agnes LoboPune
Agnes Mariyam
Aiman KhanInnocence Network IndiaBengaluru
Ajay J GeorgeSociety of JesusMangalore
Ajay MinjRanchi
AjitCPIML Liberation MaharashtraMumbai


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