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Activist Stan Swamy's Wait for Straw and Sipper Gets Longer as NIA Court Dismisses Initial Plea

File photo of activist Stan Swamy.

File photo of activist Stan Swamy.

The 82-year-old, arrested in the Elgar Parishad-alleged Maoist links case, was arrested from his home in Ranchi last month in connection with the violence in Bhima Koregaon near Pune in January 2018.

Stan Swamy, the 83-year-old tribal rights activist arrested for his alleged involvement in the Elgar Parishad case, will have to wait a few more days for a straw and a sipper cup he needs as a Parkinson's patient. Responding to Swamy's request for these items before a special court here on Thursday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said it did not take the straw and sipper from Swamy during his arrest as claimed by him.

Following the central agency's response, the special court rejected Swamy's application. Swamy then moved a fresh application seeking permission to use a straw and a sipper and winter clothes inside the jail. The court sought a reply from the jail authorities and adjourned the matter till December 4. The NIA which arrested Swamy from his residence in Ranchi on October 8, had earlier this month sought 20 days' time to respond to his request for the straw and sipper.

"I cannot hold a glass as my hands are unsteady due to Parkinson's," Swamy, who is at Taloja Central Jail hospital, had said in his initial application before the court. Parkinson's disease is a debilitating disorder of the central nervous system that can cause involuntary tremors, or muscular spasms, which makes carrying out even routine actions like drinking difficult. Some patients may face problems while swallowing or chewing.

The activist, arrested in the Elgar Parishad-alleged Maoist links case, was arrested from his home in Ranchi last month in connection with the violence in Bhima Koregaon near Pune in January 2018.

NIA officials have said investigations established that Swamy was actively involved in the activities of the CPI (Maoist). The NIA has also alleged that he was in contact with "conspirators" — Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Hany Babu, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde to further the group's activities. It also alleged that Swamy had received funds through an associate for furthering the agenda.

Besides, he is convenor of the Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee (PPSC), a frontal organisation of the CPI (Maoist), the NIA officials have claimed. They said that literature, propaganda material of the CPI (Maoist) and documents related to communications for furthering the group's programmes were seized from his possession.

Last month, the NIA had filed a charge-sheet in the matter against eight people, including Swamy. As many as 16 people have been arrested in connection with the case so far under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the anti-terror law UAPA.

The probe into the Elgar Parishad case was taken over by the NIA on January 24. The Pune police have claimed that speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave, held on December 31, 2017 at Shaniwarwada in Pune city, led to the violence at Koregaon Bhima the next day. The police have claimed the conclave was organised by people having Maoist links.


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