The Archdiocese of Bhopal along with the Catholic and Christian communities expressed their solidarity with Fr. Stan Swamy 83, a Jesuit priest who was arrested from his residence in Jharkhand by the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Swamy was arrested in connection with Bhim- Koregan Incident.
Fr. Stan Swamy is 83 years old and a Jesuit Priest. He has spent almost 3 decades of his life identifying himself with the tribal people and their struggle to get their land rights. He stood firmly for the dignity and self-respect of the tribal community.
Archbishop Leo Cornelio SVD in his statement said that in a democratic country arresting an innocent senior citizen without sufficient evidence is a serious concern to all peace-loving people.
"The NIA has accused and implicated Fr. Stan who committed his entire life for the wellbeing of poor and justice to the tribal people in the region. It is important to note that Fr. Stan has always cooperated with the investigating agencies and provided the needed information and documents to prove that he is innocent and still he is arrested on supposedly flimsy grounds is unacceptable to every peace-loving citizen of India," said the Archbishop.
"It is true that Fr Stan has expressed his dissent with several policies and laws enacted by the Government in the light of the Constitution of India. Every citizen has the freedom to express his conviction and stand for truth and justice,” he added.
“It is beyond comprehension that the NIA has arrested Fr. Stan during this pandemic, as he has other ailments which could pose a great risk to the life and well-being of this Human Right Defender and Champion of the poor. We demand that Fr. Stan be released immediately and given the right to prove his innocence in the eyes of the Law” said Archbishop.
Fr Maria Stephen, PRO said that the entire Christian community stands in solidarity with Fr Stan and soon a team of the delegation will be visiting the Governor of Madhya Pradesh to present a memorandum.