The Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council (KCBC) expressed its condolences on the death of the Jesuit priest Fr Stan Swamy and said that he was "denied even natural justice".
In addition to KCBC, the North East India Regional Bishops' Council (NEIRBC) also condoled the death of Swamy.
"In the past few years, he was working for the upliftment of the tribals in Jharkhand. Arrested and jailed under the anti-terrorism law, there have been widespread uproar that 84-year-old priest was denied even natural justice. He was admitted to the hospital after the court intervened due to his declining health, while in jail," Cardinal George Alencherry, president of KCBC, said in the statement.
The cardinal said in the statement that KCBC joins in the grief of the several thousand people who received his services, especially the members of the Society of Jesuits.
The cardinal said in the statement that many are deeply saddened and mourn his death. KCBC shares the grief of the several thousand people who received his services, especially the members of the Society of Jesuits.
"KCBC expresses its deepest condolences on the death of a human rights activist Jesuit priest Fr Stan Swamy, who committed his life for the poor and the marginalized. May he be received into the eternal abode!" the statement said.
We fail to understand why an 84-year-old social worker, greatly weakened by diverse ailments, could not get a bail for a case in which he claimed absolute innocence," NEIRBC Deputy Secretary Fr GP Amalraj said in a statement.
It has "shaken the confidence of society in the justice system and tarnished the image of the country" at the international level, Amalraj said.
"May his innocence be established and may more and more young people come forward to dedicate their lives on behalf of the poor," he said.
The community prays for him and his close relatives, while "commending the cause of tribal growth and development to the Lord", Amalraj added.
Bhima Koregaon accused Stan Swamy on Monday passed away in Mumbai's Bandra Hospital, where he had been on a ventilator since Sunday, his lawyers said. He was 84.
Stan Swamy was being treated at the private Holy Family Hospital in Mumbai following an order by the Bombay High Court on May 28. He had tested positive for COVID-19 on May 30.
Stan Swamy, an accused in the January 2018 Bhima -Koregaon case was arrested from Ranchi on October 9, 2020. The High court was scheduled to hear his bail plea on Tuesday.
Violence erupted at an event to mark 100 years of the Bhima-Koregaon battle, leaving one dead and several injured, including 10 policemen.
The police had filed 58 cases against 162 people during a state-wide shutdown in January following clashes in Bhima-Koregaon.
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