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Why did Indian police arrest Jesuit over terror conspiracy?

Father Stan Swamy

Protests continue in several parts of India after Jesuit Father Stan Swamy, an 84-year social activist in Jharkhand state, was arrested on Oct. 8 on charges of having links with a banned Maoist terror group.

In a video posted hours before his arrest, Father Swamy said that the federal agency combating terror activities — the National Investigation Agency (NIA) — had interrogated him for 15 hours during a span of five days.

“Now they want me to go to Mumbai, which I have said that I won’t go,”  he said in the video, citing his advanced age and the pandemic as reasons for his preference to have further questioning through video conferencing.However, he was arrested and taken to Mumbai, the capital of Maharashtra state. A special NIA court in that city remanded him to judicial custody for 14 days on Oct. 9. His case is linked to the Bhima-Koregaon area in Maharashtra state, where a violent clash occurred on Jan. 1, 2018, in which one person was killed and several others injured. Following investigations, police alleged some nine activists, including Father Swamy, conspired to organize the violence and have links with the banned Maoists group.

“I have never been to Bhima-Koregaon for which I am being made an accused,”  Father Swamy said in the video.”

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