Arguing that the arrest of Father Stan Swamy, a Jharkhand-based Jesuit priest and human rights activist, by the NIA in the Bhima Koregaon case is an attempt to crush dissent, a Left MP on Sunday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention for the release of the 83-year-old activist.
“It is clearly a brazen attack on democracy and freedom of expression and misuse of Central investigation agencies to silence the voices of dissent,” CPM Rajya Sabha MP K K Ragesh said in his letter. He said Fr Swamy had been taking up “genuine issues” related to the blatant violation of democratic rights, including persecution of thousands of tribal people. “He was taking up issues related to violation of laws in acquiring land for mega projects for mining and infrastructure development by flouting the rights of the poor, downtrodden and tribal people. He was raising voice in democratic, legitimate ways against the state-sponsored violations of laws and assault on democratic rights of people to pave way for unrestricted exploitation of land and natural resources.”
Ragesh wrote, “This is not the first time that the voice of dissent is falsely interpreted to grill those who remind the Centre about democracy.”
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