Activist Stan Swamy, accused in Elgar Parishad case, dies after cardiac arrest
Stan Swamy suffered a cardiac arrest at around 4am on Monday and was declared dead at 1:30pm, according to doctors.
Stan Swamy, a human rights activist and an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, died after suffering a cardiac arrest early on Monday, doctors informed the Bombay High Court. Eighty-four-year-old Swamy was put on ventilator support at the Holy Family Hospital on Sunday after he faced severe breathing difficulties with doctors examining him saying his condition was “critical” due to post-Covid complications.
Ahead of Swamy’s bail hearing on Monday, Dr Ian D'souza of the Holy Family Hospital informed the high court that the activist suffered a cardiac arrest at around 4am. The hospital, D'souza said, tried to resuscitate Swamy but his condition only deteriorated and that he was declared dead at 1:30pm.
Mihir Desai, a senior advocate representing Stan Swamy in the high court, called for a post-mortem of his body. "We have a grievance of gross negligence and hence a post mortem could be conducted," Desai said to the court, which said it had no words to express its condolences. Countering this, Dr D'Souza said since the cause of death is known, a post-mortem is not necessary, adding that a death certificate can be issued.
In such a case, Desai said, Swamy's mortal remains should be handed over to Father Frazer Mascarenhas who was looking after the priest during the course of his hospitalisation.
Reacting to the news of Swamy's death, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said he deserved "justice and humanness." Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan, meanwhile, said it is "unjustifiable" that a man like Swamy had to die in custody.
On May 29, Swamy was shifted from the Taloja Central Jail to the Mumbai-based private hospital after testing positive for Covid-19. He was arrested on October 8, 2020, from his home in Ranchi by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for his alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon violence, also known as the Elgar Parishad case, and charged under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, or UAPA.
Several activists were arrested by the Pune Police in August 2018 in a series of nationwide raids in connection with the case and are currently awaiting trial.
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