Human rights defenders have launched a book on Jesuit priest Fr Stan Swamy, who died in July while under detention on sedition charges. Source: UCA News.
The book, Fr. Stan Swamy: A Maoist or a Martyr?, written by fellow Jesuit Fr Prakash Louis, was released on Friday at a New Delhi launch attended by more than 50 people comprising activists, journalists, politicians, academics, lawyers and members of civil society.
The author traces the life and contributions of the veteran social activist, who died at 84 under state custody after being arrested in October last year at his home in Ranchi, Jharkhand state, after being accused of collaborating with outlawed Maoists to overthrow the federal government.
The Jesuit and 15 co-accused were being held under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
Fr Louis told the launch that the book was required to remember the work and dedication of Fr Swamy towards the marginalised.
“I dedicate this book to the tribal people who were the real motivators of Fr Swamy, since it is their lives and struggles which inspired him to commit himself to their emancipation,” Fr Louis said.
“I also dedicate this book to all tribal people, social, human rights, political and cultural activists and others like Fr Stan who accompany the tribal people, Dalits, minorities and citizens of the most backward caste and class of this country for their rights and dignity.”
Fr Louis said the book was also dedicated to Fr Swamy’s 15 co-accused languishing in jail in the Bhima-Koregaon case.
Jesuits and rights activists say the police fabricated charges and evidence against Fr Swamy and other activists to silence them after they criticised the policies of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party that runs the federal government.
Book tells story of Indian Jesuit who died in custody (By Bijay Kumar Minj, UCA News)