Opposition leaders Sonia Gandhi, Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee, MK Stalin, Sitaram Yechury and others on Tuesday have written a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind demanding action against "those responsible for foisting false cases on Stan Swamy".
Swamy died at the Holy Family Hospital, where he was admitted on May 29, in Mumbai on Monday, a day after he suffered a cardiac arrest and was put on ventilator support. He was arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) from Ranchi, Jharkhand in October 2020 under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in connection with the Elgar Parishad case and lodged at the Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai. During his custody, Swamy had also tested positive for COVID-19. He suffered from Parkinson's disease and several other ailments.
Meanwhile, the Opposition leaders said they are writing the letter in "deep anguish expressing our intense grief and outrage" at Swamy's death.
"He was denied treatment for his various ailments including debilitating Parkinson's. Only after a nationwide campaign was conducted that even a sipper to drink liquids was made available to him in jail," the letter read.
"The numerous appeals made to shift him out of the over crowded Taloja jail that had seen a huge rise in Covid cases went unheeded. His appeals for bail and being sent home too were rejected. Thanks to the Bombay High Court's intervention he was admitted to a private hospital when his condition started deteriorating after he was infected with Covid. But it was too late to prevent his death in custody," the Opposition leaders wrote.
They urged the President for his "immediate intervention" to direct "your government to act against those responsible for foisting false cases on him, his continued detention in jail and inhuman treatment. They must be held accountable. It is now incumbent that all those jailed in the Bhima Koregaon case and other detenues under politically motivated cases, misusing draconian laws like UAPA, Sedition etc, be released forthwith".