Guwahati: The North East India Regional Bishops’ Council (NEIRBC) on Tuesday condoled the death of Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist Stan Swamy.

Swamy, 84, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, died at a Mumbai hospital on Monday afternoon.

He was waiting for interim bail on medical grounds in the case.

“We fail to understand why an 84-year-old social worker, greatly weakened by diverse ailments, could not get a bail for a case in which he claimed absolute innocence,” NEIRBC deputy secretary Fr GP Amalraj said in a statement.

It has “shaken the confidence of society in the justice system and tarnished the image of the country” at the international level, Amalraj said.

“May his innocence be established and may more and more young people come forward to dedicate their lives on behalf of the poor,” he said.

The community prays for him and his close relatives, while “commending the cause of tribal growth and development to the Lord”, Amalraj added.

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The Elgar Parishad case is related to alleged inflammatory speeches made by some activists at a conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which, the police claim, triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city.

The police have claimed the conclave was organised by people with alleged Maoist links.



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