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“Fr. Stan still lives on, he is a beacon of hope” Fr.Cedric

Indian Jesuit Father Cedric Prakash, a human rights and peace activist, mourns his fellow Jesuit Fr. Stan Swamy, who died on July 5 in Mumbai.





“There is darkness today with the death of Fr. Stan but he is truly a light for thousands of people of India and elsewhere.” This is how Indian Jesuit priest Father Cedric Prakash reacted soon after hearing about the death of jailed fellow Jesuit Father Stan Swamy on Monday.

Fr. Stan, who championed the cause of indigenous and marginalized people in eastern India’s Jharkhand state, died in Mumbai’s Holy Family Hospital. He was being treated there for Covid-19, which he contracted behind bars in Taloja jail, near Mumbai.


The ailing 84-year-old priest, affected by Parkinson’s disease and hearing impairment, was arrested on October 8 from Bagaicha, a Jesuit social action centre on the outskirts of Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, on charges for alleged links with Maoist insurgents who were said to have been behind the violence in Bhima Koregaon village in Maharashtra state in January 2018. He was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that is tasked with fighting terrorism and sedition under the controversial Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The following day, he was lodged in Taloja Central Jail.


He was arrested on October 8 from Bagaicha, a Jesuit social action centre on the outskirts of Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand, on charges for alleged links with Maoist insurgents who were said to have been behind the violence in Bhima Koregaon village in Maharashtra state in January 2018. He was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) that is tasked with fighting terrorism and sedition under the controversial Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). The following day, he was lodged in Taloja Central Jail.

In the nearly 9 months of detention, his repeated pleas for bail were rejected. Yet, charges against him have never been proven. He championed the rights of indigenous and marginalized people of Jharkhand through legal means, not violence. Fr. Stan has denied all charges in the Bhima Koregaon case saying it is “a place that I have never been to in all my life.”

Following a deterioration of his health condition, the Bombay High Court ordered he be shifted to Holy Family Hospital on May 28. He tested positive for Covid-19. The staff of the hospital, run by the Ursuline Sisters of Mary Immaculate, ensured every care to make the last month of Fr. Stan's life comfortable.






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