The NIA released a statement on Sunday, 29 November, dismissing allegations by Father Stan Swamy regarding seizure of his straw and sipper, as ‘false’ and ‘mischievous’. 83-year-old Father Stan Swamy who suffers from Parkinson’s disease was arrested on 15 October in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence. He has been lodged in Taloja jail.
In the first week of November, Mr Swamy filed a plea before the court asking his straw and sipper be returned to him as it was an absolute necessity given the disorder he suffers from. The NIA, statement, however, claimed that Stan Swamy’s claims that his straw and sipper were kept by the NIA were false.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), according to The Hindu, on Thursday, 26 November had told the court that they do not have a straw and a sipper for 83-year old arrested activist Father Stan Swamy to drink from.
This, most recent, 10-point statement by NIA comes amid outrage triggered by agency’s. response at the Court with many social media users joining the campaign #SippersForStan and placing orders for a sipper and straw to be delivered to Taloja jail.
What Else Did NIA Claim?
In its statement, the NIA wrote, “After arresting accused Stan Swamy, NIA produced him before the Special Court in Mumbai along with Chargesheet on 9/10/2020 and never took his police custody. All the necessary legal formalities such as his medical examination etc. were duly observed. Since then, accused Stan Swamy has been in judicial custody at Taloja Central jail.”
The statement then added that, “Nearly after a month, i.e. on 6/11/2020, accused Stan Swamy filed an application in the Hon’ble NIA Court at Mumbai for getting back his straw and sipper, (which he falsely claimed to have been kept by NIA)”
As directed by the Court, the NIA stated that it filed a reply in court on 26 November stating that “NIA had conducted his personal search in presence of independent witnesses and no such straw and sipper were found”.
On 26 November, the court issued directions to jail authorities to provide him with straw and sipper. The NIA added that since Father Stan Swamy was in judicial custody, the matter was “between him and the jail authorities which come under the Maharashtra State Administration”.
"“The reports claiming that NIA recovered straw and sipper from accused Stan Swamy and sought 20 days 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 to file reply in said application.”" - NIA Statement
A senior prison official reportedly told PTI that Father Stan Swamy was being provided with more than just a straw and sipper. “Not just sipper and straw, we are providing him other facilities too like wheelchair, walking stick, walker, and two attendants were also provided to him,” PTI quoted the official.
Father Stan Swamy’s lawyer on Thursday, 26 November, filed a fresh plea seeking direction to the prison authorities to allow winter wear clothes and a straw and sipper for him in prison.
“I cannot hold a glass as my hands are unsteady due to Parkinson’s,” the 83-year-old had said originally in his application.
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