Amidst the controversy surrounding the alleged denial of sipper and straw to 83-year-old ‘activist’ Stan Swamy, the National Investigative Agency (NIA) has rubbished the allegations on Sunday. An accused in the Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad case, Swamy was arrested on October 8 for furthering the nefarious agenda on the banned outfit CPI (Maoist).
In a statement, the central investigative agency stated that Stan Swamy had falsely claimed in an application before the NIA court that his straw and sipper have been withheld by the NIA. The accused had earlier claimed that he had trouble eating and drinking without a sipper and straw due to Parkinson’s disease.
Claims Made by Accused Stan Swamy regarding Seizure of his Straw and Sipper by NIA are False and Mischievous pic.twitter.com/9Xsb3rjukR— NIA India (@NIA_India) November 29, 2020
NIA informed, “NIA duly filed its reply in the Court on the scheduled date i.e. 26/11/2020 stating therein that NIA had conducted his personal search in presence of independent witnesses and no such straw and sipper were found. The Hon’ble Court rejected Swamy’s application and has issued necessary direction to the jail authorities on 26th November 2020 to provide him straw and sipper.”
NIA stated that when Stan Swamy’s personal search was undertaken in presence of two independent witnesses no such straw or sipper was found on him as claimed by him.
The NIA informed that since the accused was placed under judicial custody at Taloja prison near Navi Mumbai, the matter rested between him and the jail authorities who fall under the jurisdiction of the Maharashtra State Administration. “The reports claiming that NIA recovered straw and sipper from accused Stan Swamy and sought 20 days’ time from the court to respond to Stan Swamy’’s plea to allow him a straw and sipper in Taloja Central Jail, are false, incorrect and mischievous as NIA neither recovered any straw and sipper from the accused nor sought 20 days time to file a reply in said application,” it emphasised.
Taloja prison dismisses ‘baseless’ claims
Meanwhile, a senior official from Taloja prison has dismissed the ‘baseless’ claims that Stan Swamy was not being provided with a sipper and straw. The official stated, “Not just sipper and straw, we are providing him other facilities too like a wheelchair, walking stick, walker, and two attendants were also provided to him. We know he is a patient, he suffers from Parkinson’s disease. Why would we not provide him (with) things which he requires.”
Arrest of Stan Swamy and his role in Bhima Koregaon violence
According to the NIA, Stan Swamy was a key conspirator in the Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad case of 2017, which witnessed violence, stone-pelting, and arson at Shaniwar Wada in Pune. He was arrested on October 8 and produced before the Special Court in Mumbai the following day. Interestingly, he was never put under police custody and was instead remanded to judicial custody at Taloja Central jail. The NIA had informed that all legal formalities, including medical examination, were undertaken.
As per the Central investigative agency, Stan Swamy is a ‘hard-core CPI (Maoist) activist’ who had received funds from other Maoists for furthering the activities of the banned outfit. He is also the convenor of PPSC. “Incriminating documents related to communications for furthering the activities of the banned terrorist organisation CPI (Maoist) were seized from his possession,” the NIA emphasised.
Usual suspects spread propaganda
When Stan Swamy first made the allegations of denial of ‘straw and sipper’ by NIA, the usual suspects came forward to propagate the fake news further.
This is Father Stan Swamy an 83 yr old tribal activist with Parkinson’s disease, who has been arrested by NIA on absurd charges in Bhima Koregaon case & has been denied even a straw for drinking. NIA says they have no straws! Here he is in August standing in solidarity with me pic.twitter.com/GPbd0NnvLa— Prashant Bhushan (@pbhushan1) November 27, 2020
The fact that NIA did not have the alleged ‘straw and sipper’ as owned by Stan Swamy was propagated as if NIA was denying him access to the straw.
NIA Court keeps 83 year old Stan Swamy waiting for a straw sipper in jail! https://t.co/9xlvdTZ4pQ— Rajdeep Sardesai (@sardesairajdeep) November 26, 2020
Senior Congress leaders, too, had joined in in spreading the falsehood.
v proud of India’s legal system-pathbreaking judl review, basic structure, PIL. Bt Sometimes ashamed 2b part of a system which is footballing a sipper &straw request of 83 yr old detenu #StanSwamy. Irrespective of merits, I don’t ustand why his rqst not granted or takes so long!— Abhishek Singhvi (@DrAMSinghvi) November 28, 2020
As stated, Stan Swamy is in judicial custody which falls under Maharashtra administration. But then, why let facts get in the way of propaganda.
An Arnab Goswami gets a vacation bench to hear his case and gets bail. 84 year old Stan Swamy, a human rights activist suffering from Parkinsons is refused warm clothes and a sipper straw. Why the fuck should i care about contempt of court !!! https://t.co/A0uydwXnRN— Rana Ayyub (@RanaAyyub) November 27, 2020
With facts placed by the NIA, the accused is now left clutching at the straws.