The North-East Catholic Research Forum (NECARF) on Tuesday lamented the passing away of renowned activist Stan Swamy.

The 84-year-old activist who was arrested under anti-terror law in Elgar Parishad case last year, breathed his last at a hospital in Mumbai on Monday.

“NECARF is deeply shocked and saddened by the demise of Rev. Fr. Stan Swamy SJ, an 84-year Catholic Jesuit Priest, while in incarceration and denying bail even on medical ground,” convener James Pochury said in a statement.

“In what indeed is a classic case of ‘Justice Delayed is Justice Denied’, we deeply mourn the passing away of Fr. Stan Swamy. But more than that, we mourn the dying of democracy in India, where the institutions of justice and equality continue to haunt and allude to the most marginalized, voiceless and dispossessed social groups of India – the indigenous peoples/Adivasis and Dalits – for whom Fr. Stan had dedicated his entire life,” he added.

The NECARF also said that death is inevitable but the loss of life by physical, mental and psychological torture is unacceptable and highly condemnable in a democratic country.

“Death is inevitable, everyone has to die one day, but death by physical, mental and psychological torture, evident from various reports, is unacceptable and highly condemnable in a democracy where natural justice, let alone the rule of law, is the least that is called for,” Pochury added.

Swamy was arrested last year after being accused of charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) Act.

The Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist, who had worked for tribals in Jharkhand for over five decades, was charged by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) with links to Naxals, especially the banned CPI (Maoists).

He breathed his last at 1:30 pm on Monday.

Dr Ian D’souza, medical director of Holy Family Hospital told the High Court: “On Sunday, he suffered a cardiac arrest at 4.30am. Subsequent to that, he never regained consciousness. At 1.24 pm today, he was declared dead. Cause of death is definitely pulmonary infection and Parkinson’s disease among others.”

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