Stan Swamy, the 83-year-old tribal rights activist who suffers from Parkinson’s disease and was arrested last month over his alleged involvement in the Bhima-Koregaon case, has been given a straw and sipper by Taloja jail authorities, news agency PTI reported his lawyer as saying on Friday.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) officials confirmed that he was provided with a sipper a week ago. “Jail authorities provided him a sipper,” a senior official said.
For more than four weeks, Mr Swamy had been asking for a sipper and straw citing Parkison’s disease, which is a debilitating disorder of the central nervous system that can cause involuntary tremors, or muscular spasms, which makes carrying out even everyday actions, such as drinking, difficult. Some patients also develop problems swallowing or chewing.
He filed three fresh applications in a special court in Mumbai on Friday, seeking a direction to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to return his bag seized by it at the time of his arrest, a clone copy of his hard disk and a direction to not transfer him from Taloja jail.
Mr Swamy’s lawyer told the special court that he has been given a straw and a sipper, PTI reported.
In a 473-word news release divided into 10 points, the agency on Sunday said it never confiscated Mr Swamy’s straw and sipper during his arrest nearly two months ago. “NIA had conducted his personal search in presence of independent witnesses and no such straw and sipper were found,” it said.
The special court on Friday said it would hear the three new applications filed by Mr Swamy on December 10.
On Sunday, prison officials told PTI that they were providing a sipper and other facilities to Mr Swamy. “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,” an official had said.
In his first application, Mr Swamy, who has been at Maharashtra’s Taloja Central Jail for nearly two months now, had said, “I cannot hold a glass as my hands are unsteady due to Parkinson’s.”
Late last month a special NIA court rejected Mr Swamy’s bail application, which had been filed on medical grounds, declaring that the octogenarian had been booked under the stringent UAPA (Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act) and was therefore not allowed bail.
The Bhima-Koregaon case involves the violence that erupted in the vicinity of a war memorial in the village of that name on January 1, 2018. This was allegedly after provocative speeches were made during the Elgar Parishad conclave held a day earlier at Shaniwarwada in Pune.
The NIA claims Mr Swamy is linked to CPI (Maoist) activities and had a role in instigating violence.
With inputs from PTI