Jailed Indian Jesuit’s health critical in hospital
The Bombay High Court has extended the hospitalization of Jesuit father Stan Swamy, jailed until July 5 after his condition was reportedly critical.
On June 17, the Maharashtra State Supreme Court ordered continued medical treatment for the 84-year-old priest at Holy Family Catholic Hospital in Mumbai, the state capital.
The hospital’s medical director reported that Father Swamy “continues to be critical and needs intensive care,” Division Judges SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar observed.
The court, which was due to hear the priest’s bail application, released its next hearing on July 3.
Father Swamy was admitted to hospital on May 28 after his health deteriorated in prison.
Originally, the court allowed his treatment in hospital until June 14, which was later extended to June 18 before the last extension.
We are pleased that the court was kind enough to allow his continued hospitalization. We continue to pray for his good health
The Jesuit confreres welcomed the court order but said they had not seen the medical report and therefore had no details of the priest’s condition.
“We have no exact information on his state of health,” Father A. Santhanam, a Jesuit lawyer who is following the case closely, told UCA News on June 18.
“We are pleased that the court was kind enough to allow his continued hospitalization. We continue to pray for his good health, ”said Father Santhanam, a practicing lawyer in the state of Tamil Nadu.
Father Swamy was jailed on October 9 last year, a day after the Federal National Anti-Terrorism Investigation Agency arrested him at his residence in Ranchi, capital of Jharkhand state, on charges of sedition.
The elderly priest suffers from Parkinson’s disease, hearing loss and other age-related ailments that are said to have worsened during his nearly eight months in prison.
He was hospitalized following a court ruling after his health deteriorated dramatically and he was even unable to eat and drink properly. He tested positive for Covid-19 a day after his hospitalization.
The priest is among 16 accused of plotting with outlaw Maoists to overthrow the federal government. All have denied the allegations.
Father Swamy has been defending the rights of the indigenous peoples of Jharkhand State in eastern India for nearly five decades.
He and others accused in the case claim they were framed to silence them after criticizing the policies of the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata party, which heads the federal government in New Delhi and some state governments.