Updated: July 29, 2021 9:37:58 am
Nearly a month after the death of Father Stan Swamy, a tribal rights activist arrested in the Elgaar Parishad case, the demand for justice to the late Jesuit priest continued in Bengaluru as members of various civil societies and faculty and students of several institutions carried out a silent candlelight march.
After the march held on Museum Road in the city on Wednesday evening, Fr Dionysius Vaz SJ, provincial of Karnataka Jesuit Province, “Fr Stan Swamy’s death is not an end; it is yet another moment of awakening in our journey to affirm our faith in the Constitution of our country. Amidst growing inequalities, violence, atrocities, discrimination, and exclusion in our country, ‘not to be a silent spectator is the message that he left for us.”
He also urged the participants to “carry forward the legacy” of Fr Stan Swamy by showing solidarity with the voiceless and the marginalised.
Meanwhile, social activist Shiv Sundar stressed that the ideals of democracy were “crumbling” in the country. He highlighted, “All the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case are falsely accused as they were fighting for the welfare of the tribals much against the interest of the corporates. All governments, be it UPA or NDA, have only served the interests of the corporates.”
Further, the participants of the march urged the Centre to free human rights’ defenders and undertrial prisoners languishing in jails in appalling conditions.
“Organised by the Jesuit Provincial of South Asia, the National Justice Day event was held to urge the government to defend democracy, to repeal Sedition Law, Unlawful Atrocities (Prevention) Act, and repressive State laws, and to restore citizens’ right to dissent,” a statement read.
Fr Stan Swamy had passed away at a private hospital in Mumbai on July 5. The 84-year-old had been hospitalised on May 30 following the directions of the Bombay High Court, was put on ventilator support a day before his death.
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