Hemant Soren being oppressed like Stan Swamy who died in custody: Former Jharkhand Chief Minister’s social media post : The Tribune India

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Hemant Soren being oppressed like Stan Swamy who died in custody: Former Jharkhand Chief Minister’s social media post

Sleuths of the National Investigation Agency claim that investigations establish Swamy was actively involved with the CPI (Maoist)

Hemant Soren being oppressed like Stan Swamy who died in custody: Former Jharkhand Chief Minister’s social media post

Hemant Soren. PTI file



PTI

Ranchi, June 7

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, who is in jail, is facing the same kind of oppression that led to the custodial death of Jesuit priest Stan Swamy who dedicated his life working for tribal rights, according to a social media post by the JMM leader. 

The latest Lok Sabha election mark the beginning of Jharkhand’s revenge for the custodial death of Swamy who had been fighting for tribal rights, said the Facebook post from Soren’s account which is being managed by his wife Kalpana Soren. 

Hemant Soren was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in a money laundering case linked to an alleged land scam.

‘Just as Father Stan, who raised his voice for the most vulnerable section, was silenced by institutional neglect and injustice, today the same kind of oppression is being done to Hemant Soren. Today there is a need for every Jharkhandi to stand strongly in support of Hemant Soren. Otherwise, no one can stop turning Jharkhand into Manipur,’ the social media post said.

In Manipur, the ethnic conflict between Imphal Valley-based Meiteis and hills-based Kukis has led to the deaths of over 200 people and rendered thousands of people homeless.

Soren’s social media post also said, ‘This election marked the beginning of Jharkhand’s revenge for the wrongful custodial death of Father Stan Swamy, an 84-year-old Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist – a black mark on India’s democracy and human rights situation’.

The BJP, which had dominated the last three Lok Sabha elections in Jharkhand, faced a significant setback in the state’s five tribal constituencies - Khunti, Singhbhum, Lohardaga, Rajmahal and Dumka.

Three of these seats were won by the ruling JMM and two by the Congress, including the Khunti constituency where Union Minister Arjun Munda suffered a defeat, losing to Congress’ Kalicharan Munda by 1.49 lakh votes.

Kalpana also won the Gandey bypoll by 27,149 votes over her nearest BJP rival Dilip Kumar Verma.

Soren’s Facebook post read, ‘Despite his old age and Parkinson’s disease, Father Stan, who had been fighting for the rights of tribal communities for decades, was denied bail and proper medical treatment on false terrorism charges framed by the BJP government. He was not given a straw worth 25 paise to drink water...Due to deteriorating health conditions caused by prison conditions, Father Stan, unfortunately, died in custody on July 5, 2021.’ 

Swamy, who spent long years working among tribals in Jharkhand, died in Mumbai, hours before his appeal for bail in a case in which he was accused of being an ‘Urban Naxal’ was to be heard.

‘His death is an example of the BJP’s policy of suppressing the opposition and tribals under the pretext of terrorism and criminalizing human rights work,’ it said.

After Swamy’s death, Soren, who was then chief minister, had alleged that the central government should be “held accountable for the absolute apathy” towards the Jesuit priest.

Swamy had worked for about three decades among tribals in Jharkhand.

Ranchi Catholic Archdiocese, expressing grief over Swamy’s death, had said the “caged parrot now sings in Heaven”.

The Archdiocese had said, “The fact that this sick man suffering from Parkinson’s disease was arrested at the age of 84, refused bail for over seven months, not even allowed a sipper and finally contracted COVID in jail itself is a sad reflection on those who got the innocent man arrested and the courts that refused to give him bail.”  

Swamy, a cancer patient, was arrested from his home in Ranchi on October 8, 2020.

He was taken to Mumbai in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case and was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Sleuths of the National Investigation Agency had claimed that investigations established he was actively involved with the CPI (Maoist).

#Custodial Death #Hemant Soren #human rights #Jharkhand #National Investigation Agency NIA #Social Media


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