Arunachal Christians mourn the death of Father Stan Swamy

Kharsang, 7 July 2021: The Christian community in Arunachal Pradesh mourned the death of Father Stan Swamy with candle light condolence prayer service across the State on 6 July.

“It is a sad day for all Indians. We have failed, our judiciary has failed and our country has failed”, said Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao Diocese in east Arunachal Pradesh.

Organising a condolence prayer service at Kharsang market area in Changlang district, Bishop George said, “The death of Father Stan calls for introspection on our judicial system. Father Stan’s death reminds us of how Jesus was unjustly condemned by the Pilot.”

Adding that the death of Father Stan is a manifestation current legal system in our country the Bishop requested everyone to work towards building a just society.

The timing of the hour-long condolence prayer service at Kharsang market coincided with the funeral service for Father Stan at St. Peter’s Church, Bandra, Mumbai. The prayer service was attended by youth, men and women groups and religious sisters from Namphai and Kharsang circles of Changlang district.

Speaking at the backdrop of a prayer service held at Bishop’s House, Naharlagun, Bishop John Thomas of Itangar diocese in west Arunachal Pradesh said, “Every Indian voter shares the shame of this institutional murder of Father Stan Swamy.”

Commenting that the condemnation from all sections of the society on the death of Father Stan is an indication that the world has not yet sold its conscience to the powerbrokers, Bishop Thomas said, “A country that boasts of its armed capability to take on nuclear powers like China and Pakistan is afraid of an 84 year-old Parkinson patient who needs help to perform his basic bodily functions.”

Calling Father Stan’s arrest and his subsequent death as acts of anarchy, Bishop Thomas said, “This frail old man has to be incarcerated until death because he was a symbol of the voice of the poor dalits and tribals. This is how fascists cling on to power in the name of saving the country from anarchy. If this is not anarchy, what else!”

The President of the Arunachal Pradesh Catholic Association, Taw Tebin, too condemned the “institutional murder” of Father Stan. “Father Stan’s blood is on our hand. Is this the reward we give to a person who has dedicated all his for the service of humanity?” Tebin asked.

Father Stan was arrested on 8 October 2020 by the National Investigation Agency for his alleged nexus with naxals to destabilise the Government. He was kept in Taloja Central Jail near Mumbai without trail. His bail plea was rejected twice. He was shifted to Holy Family Hospital, Mumbai on 29 May on the orders of Bombay High Court and he passed away on 5 July, awaiting bail.