MUMBAI: Claims made by rights activist Stan Swamy, currently in jail in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, regarding the seizure of straw and sipper by National Investigation Agency (NIA) are “false and mischievous”, said the central probe agency in a public statement on Sunday. “The reports claiming that NIA recovered straw and sipper from Swamy and sought 20 days’ time from the special court to respond to Swamy’s plea to allow him the items in Taloja Central Jail, are false, incorrect and mischievous,” the investigation agency said, adding that it never recovered any straw and sipper from the accused.

The 83-year-old activist, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, filed a petition in the Special NIA Court earlier this month seeking a sipper and straw to take water and other liquid meals. In the plea, he said his sipper and straw were taken away from him when he was put in jail in October after his arrest.

During the latest hearing of the case on 26 November, Swamy’s lawyer told the court that his client was not being provided with any sipper and straw despite his repeated requests.

The NIA, however, told the court that it has not taken Swamy’s custody after his arrest in September and that it was up to the jail authorities to provide him with “anything” as per the manual.

“We have not sought any custody of accused Stan Swamy and he is in Taloja prison near Mumbai since his first remand. So, it is the jail authority which has to decide about providing anything to the accused in judicial custody as per jail manual,” said the NIA. “After arresting accused Stan Swamy, NIA produced him before the Special Court in Mumbai along with a chargesheet on October 9, 2020, and never took his custody. All the necessary legal formalities such as his medical examination etc. were duly observed. Since then, accused Stan Swamy has been in judicial custody at Taloja Central Jail,” the statement said. Satej Patil, Maharashtra’s Minister of State for Home, earlier tweeted on 7 November that Swamy is being provided with a sipper and straw.