Bulk orders of straws and sippers for jailed activist Stan Swamy

Several netizens on Friday took to social media to share screenshots of their orders on straws and sippers, with the intended order destination being the National Investigation Agency (NIA) office or the Taloja Jail on the outskirts of Mumbai. This, the netizens said, was in solidarity with 83-year-old tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy's request to the prison authorities to provide him with a straw and sipper, which were allegedly seized from him during the arrest.

Swamy was arrested on October 8 in the alleged Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case.

A Mumbai court had on Thursday rejected his previous application seeking a direction to the NIA to return the straw and sipper allegedly seized from him at the time of arrest.

He needs the two articles as he has trouble eating and drinking because his hands quiver due to Parkinson's disease, he had said.

Netizens on Twitter and Facebook began en masse sharing images of their orders for a straw and sipper.

‘‘Have ordered 1 sipper bottle for NIA to provide to its prisoners. Hope they make use of it. Will reach them tmw through Amazon Prime :),’’ was one such post.

Notably, the National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled (NPRD) has already expressed its outrage at "the continued denial of a sipper and straw to jailed activist Stan Swamy".

NPRD India, in a Facebook post, wrote that Parkinson's disease is a condition recognised as disabling as per the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016.

It said that according to various laws and international conventions, it was "obligatory" that Swamy be provided with the "requisite age and disability appropriate requirements, assistive aids including straws and sippers as also human care assistance."

"Denial of the same constitutes a violation of his basic rights," NPRD India has said.

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