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India: “Case against me is nothing but an absolute fabrication” - Full Statement by Stan Swamy

3 September

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03/09/18

Public statement by Stan Swamy

Maharashtra police held a press conference in Mumbai on August 31, 2018. Additional Director-General (law and order) of Maharashtra police Mr. Parambir Singh told the media that in relation to the incident of Bhima-Koregaon, initially a FIR was lodged on January 8, 2018. According to him the name of Stan Swamy was added in the aforesaid FIR on August 23 along with the names of Arun Fereira, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalvez, Sudha Bhardwaj, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde.

In the same press conference, ADG Parambir Singh talked about a letter allegedly written by Adv. Sudha Bhardwaj.

This letter, according to Maharashtra police, mentions that for the work of PPSC Stan Swamy had been appointed by comrade Prashant. It is also mentioned in the aforesaid letter that Sudha Bharadwaj had asked Stan Swamy to provide some funds for the activities of CPI (Maoist), but Stan Swamy did not make any definite commitment in this regard.

I would like to make it clear on my part with regard to the content of the said letter that Sudha Bhardwaj never asked me for any fund for the activities as mentioned in the letter. It is nothing but complete concoction and absolute falsehood that is being propagated by the Maharashtra police. Sudha Bhardwaj has also repeatedly denied the veracity of the said letter and has said that it is a fabricated letter.

Further, I believe that the possible reason behind this concoction of the case against me along with Sudha Bhardwaj is that I have been the convener of Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee (PPSC) formed in December, 2015. I wish to make it clear that PPSC was formed purely to help under trial prisoners and it has no link whatsoever with any banned organizations. I have also filed a PIL in the Jharkhand High Court at Ranchi for the speedy trial of the under trial prisoners, languishing in the jails of Jharkhand. Taking serious note of my PIL, Hon’ble Jharkhand High Court on January 8, 2018 ordered the state of Jharkhand to provide all relevant and necessary information from all the jails of Jharkhand which must reveal the reasons for undue delay in the trial of these under trial prisoners. Still the proceedings in said PIL are going on in Jharkhand High Court.

In addition to this PIL, I have been raising awareness among Adivasi and Dalit people for their rights guaranteed under the Indian Constitution especially the rights of the adibasi community provided in the Fifth Schedule and their right of self governance through Gram Sabhas as provided in PESA Act; I have also tried to make them aware of the judgment of the Supreme Court that ‘the owner of the land is also the owner of the subsoil minerals.’ I have also raised voice against the formation of Land Bank that intends to take over the “commons” such as roads, rivers, ponds, burial grounds, community forest lands etc which are traditionally used by the community.

I fear that these activities of mine have angered the powerful interests within the government that they not only have foisted a case of sedition against me in Jharkhand but now have included me in a false case that links me with banned organizations at national level in order to discredit me together with other intellectuals, legal professionals and social activists raising our voices for the rights of poorest of poor people in the state of Jharkhand and all over India.

Stan Swamy

Ranchi

03/09/18