Mangaluru, Oct 10 (PTI): The All India Catholic Union (AICU) on Saturday called for the immediate release of 83- year-old Jesuit priest Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested from Ranchi, Jharkhand, in an operation by the NIA and now in judicial custody.
The century-old AICU, which represents 1.6 crore ordinary catholics in the country, expressed apprehension over the arrest of Stan by saying that the action on the ailing activist was a plan to silence dissent and protest against alienation of the natural and forest resources of the tribals.
AICU national president Lancy DCunha, in a statement, said the ordinary catholic men and women stood in solidarity with Fr Stan, a national hero, and with the countrys tribals whose struggles the Jesuit priest had espoused for more than half-a-century.
Every citizen of the country who has respect for the Constitution and the rights of the poor, the dalits, the dispossessed and the tribals makes common cause with these peoples movements, he said.
The AICU expressed its happiness that the solidarity for Fr Stan has extended far beyond the Christian community and the tribals, who have agitated on the roads in Ranchi and other places.
The civil society movements in the country and abroad have expressed concern over the manner in which Fr Stan was picked up amid the pandemic after several months of harassment, raids and questioning, the statement said.
The priest was arrested by the central probe agency on Thursday for his alleged involvement in inciting a mob to violence in Bhima Koregaon near Pune on January 1, 2018. PTI MVG NVG NVG