Jailed activist Stan Swamy, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, has been given a sipper in Taloja jail, Mumbai Mirror reported on Sunday.
The 83-year-old activist, arrested in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case, had requested for a sipper, straw before a special court on November 6. The hearing was scheduled 20 days later as the prosecution sought time. When the matter was heard on November 26, the National Investigation Agency told the court that it did not confiscate Swamy’s straw and sipper when he was arrested. A new petition seeking a straw, sipper and winter clothes was filed. The fresh plea will now be heard on December 4.
Swamy was asked about his requirements on Saturday during the visit of Inspector General of Police (Prisons) Chhering Dorje. “We have provided him a sipper,” Additional Director General of Police (Prisons) Sunil Ramanand told Mumbai Mirror.
On Saturday, a group of lawyers sent sippers and straws to the jailed activist at Mumbai’s Taloja prison and urged the authorities to allow him to drink water with dignity. A huge campaign also began on social media to send sippers and straws to Swamy. Several citizens and groups were shocked by the National Investigation Agency asking the special court to give it 20 days to respond to Swamy’s request.
Swamy was arrested by the NIA in Ranchi on October 8 and was brought to Mumbai the next day. He was accused of being a member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist) and being involved in a conspiracy to instigate caste violence in the Bhima Koregaon village near Pune in 2018.
Swamy’s plea was filed on medical grounds citing that apart from Parkinson’s disease, he also suffers from a hearing impairment, has fallen in the jail on multiple occasions, has been operated on for hernia twice and still has pain in his lower abdomen.
Swamy is not the only undertrial in the Bhima Koregaon case with a serious medical condition. Telugu poet Varavara Rao’s health is also critical. On November 18, the Bombay High Court had directed Taloja jail authorities to shift him to Nanavati Hospital for 15 days, saying that he was almost on his deathbed.
The NIA took over the investigation in the Bhima Koregaon case from the Pune Police in January. All the accused in the case are booked for allegedly delivering inflammatory speeches at the Elgar Parishad conclave at Shaniwar Wada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which triggered violence at the Bhima Koregaon war memorial on January 1, 2018.