Stan Swamy, a Jesuit priest and tribal rights activist in Taloja prison for the Koregaon-Bhima case, wrote a letter that showed hope in what is a rather dark place. He described his living conditions, and the help he received from other prisoners.
John Dayal, a friend of Stan Swamy and human rights activist, shared excerpts of the letter, which presently remains inaccessible. Swamy wrote the letter to his friends, purportedly with the help of another activist in prison, Arun Ferreira.
As per the letter, Swamy is in a 13 feet x 8 feet cell, with a small bathroom and Indian commode. The prison however provided him with a ‘western commode chair’ as well. With him are two inmates coming from poor families.
Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves and Arun Ferreira stay in another cell. The three are also under arrest for the same case. They remain in different cells from 5:30 PM to 6 AM and 12 noon to 3 PM, and meet during the day when the prison opens the cells and barracks.
Swamy explained that Ferreira helped him have breakfast and lunch while Gonsalves aided him in bathing. This comes due to the fact that Swamy has Parkinson’s. Swami earlier requested for a straw and a sipper, but the NIA is yet to respond.
Stan Swamy asks for prayers in letter
The prisoners with whom Swamy stays help him with dinner and massage his knee joints. They also assist him in washing his clothes.
Despite all odds, humanity is bubbling in Taloja prison.
Swamy also thanked those who remained in solidarity and supported him. He also asked everyone to remember him as well as the other prisoners in their prayers.
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