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Stan Swamy critical; Politicians, human rights group voice concern

Reports that Swamy was placed on ventilator provoked outrage over his treatment

Stan-Swamy Stan Swamy | PTI

Media reports on Sunday said father Stan Swamy was placed on ventilator support. Swamy is a Jesuit priest who was arrested in connection with the Elgar Parishad violence case.

Swamy was moved to hospital from the Taloja jail in late May after he tested positive for COVID-19.

On Monday, Mid-day quoted doctors at the Holy Family Hospital in Bandra as saying he remained critical. "He has been in and out of the ICU. While we shifted him to the ward a week back, we had to move him to the ICU on June 29. He has Supraventricular tachycardia (abnormally fast or erratic heartbeat) and has also been diagnosed with depression," Mid-day quoted a doctor as saying.

The reports that Swamy was placed on ventilator support triggered concern over his health and also provoked outrage over his treatment by the NIA and Centre. Swamy, who is 84 years old, is the oldest person arrested in connection with the Elgar Parishad case.

Reacting to the news, Sita Soren, an MLA of the ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) in Jharkhand, took to Twitter on Monday to request the Central government and government of Maharashtra to take all steps needed for the treatment of Stan Swamy.

Shama Mohamed, a national spokesperson of the Congress, tweeted, "Fr Stan Swamy is now on ventilator support. This man is 84 years old, suffering from Parkinson's, & has been in jail for 9 months, where he contracted Covid. There is no greater travesty of justice than the persecution of activists in the bogus Elgar Parishad case! #StanSwamy."

Meenkshi Ganguly, the south Asia director of Human Rights Watch, tweeted, "As Stan Swamy health deteriorates, Indian authorities should ensure care. They jailed an ailing 84-year-old priest who defends adivasi rights, in a case targeting govt critics where the evidence has been questioned. Release all #BhimaKoregaon detainees."

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