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World News

Jesuit community to gather on first anniversary of death of priest detained by Indian government

by Sophie Drew

The Jesuit community will gather together in London to mark the first anniversary of the death of a priest who died after being detained by the Indian government following his work with vulnerable minorities.

Father Stan Swamy SJ died in hospital on 5th of July, 2021, aged 84. 

Father Stan was arrested in October 2020, and accused of plotting terrorism offences, including instigating caste violence, and supporting an extremist Maoist group. 

These allegations are believed to be untrue. 

Father Stan was critical of attempts by the government and mining companies to take away and exploit common land from the Adivasi people without their consent.

He was detained in a prison in Toloja prison in Mumbai, where he contracted Covid – he later died in hospital as a result of the virus. 

At the time of his death, Chief Minister Hemant Soren of the eastern state of Jharkhand - where Swamy lived and worked - said the federal government "should be answerable for absolute apathy and non provision of timely medical services, leading to his death".

Members of the Jesuit community will be holding Mass in honour of Father Stan on the 5th of July. 

The service will take place at 1.05pm, at the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Farm Street, in London. 

From there, the group will march to the Indian High Commission, where a prayer vigil will be held at 2.15pm. 

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