Stan Swamy's wait for straw and sipper gets longer; also seeks bail

Stan Swamys wait for straw and sipper gets longer; also seeks bail

Mumbai: A court here on Thursday once again sought a reply from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 83-year-old tribal rights activist Father Stan Swamy's request that he be provided a straw and sipper in jail.

Swamy, arrested in the alleged Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, on Thursday also filed a bail plea in the special NIA court, citing health issues including Parkinson's diesease.

Arrested on October 8, he has been lodged at the Taloja prison near Mumbai.

The court, earlier in the day, rejected his previous application seeking a direction to the NIA to return the straw and sipper allegedly seized from him during his arrest.

He needs a straw and sipper as he has trouble eating and drinking because his hands shake due to Parkinson's disease, he had said.

The NIA had then sought 20 days to file a reply.

On Thursday, the agency denied that it had confiscated his straw and sipper. Swamy's lawyer Sharif Shaikh then filed a fresh application to obtain these things, besides winter clothing.

Special NIA Judge D E Kothalikar directed the prison authorities to respond to both the applications and posted them for hearing on December 4. In his bail plea, Swamy said he suffers from several ailments including Parkinson's and hearing loss. He has undergone two hernia operations and still suffers from abdominal pain, he claimed.

He was shifted to the prison hospital soon after his arrest and two other inmates are taking care of him at hospital, he said. As per the NIA, Swamy was involved in the activities of the banned CPI (Maoist), and had received funds through an associate for furthering Maoist agenda.

He was also the convenor of the Persecuted Prisoners Solidarity Committee (PPSC), a frontal organisation of the CPI(Maoist), the NIA claimed.

Swamy in his bail plea denied the allegations and said that the prosecution had failed to bring on record any evidence.

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