January 15, Father Stan Swamy completes 100 days of incarceration in Taloja
prison in Mumbai. I spent two days, January 9 and 10, in Bagaicha - Ranchi, the
zonal coordinating centre of the 5 central Indian Jesuit Provinces. I met with
the three Jesuits who have been Stan’s companions for the last 2 years and who
have accompanied him during those difficult days of investigation and arrest by
the National Investigating Agency. On behalf of Fr. General and many of us, who
have been saying ‘We stand with Stan’ calling for his immediate release,
I expressed solidarity and continued support to Stan and all others who stood
with the vulnerable tribals and marginalized communities and are now facing
Bagaicha during the early hours of 9 January. Everything looked normal, except
that Stan was not waiting outside to receive me with his warmth and affection.
However, the roomin
which he generally stayed was wide open. I asked Fr.
Solomon, ‘why is the room open and who is
staying there now?’ He said, “This is where you are going to stay these days.”
I felt deeply privileged.
Narrating the horrible night of arrest, Fr. David Solomon said, “Stan
had the premonition that he was going to be arrested and was prepared. Three
days before the arrest, I noticed a kind of glow on his face. He remained quite
serene and recollected and spent long hours in the Chapel every morning. Within
me I felt quite agitated, but he was calm. At one point after somediscussion, he got up and said, ‘I am going’.”