NEWS
14/07/2020 8:46 AM IST

Varavara Rao Shifted To Mumbai's JJ Hospital Days After Family Raises Alarm About His Health

The poet had on Monday approached the Bombay High Court seeking temporary bail owing to his deteriorating medical condition.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
A 2011 file photo of the revolutionary poet Varavara Rao.

Poet and activist Varavara Rao, 81, was taken to JJ Hospital in Mumbai on Monday, reports said, days after his family raised alarm over his deteriorating health.

Rao has been lodged at Taloja Jail in Maharashtra as an accused in the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence case.

Doctors at the hospital told Times of India that Rao had been admitted under the neurology department which was looking into his complaint of giddiness.

The poet had on Monday approached the Bombay High Court seeking temporary bail owing to his deteriorating medical condition and the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic. The 80-year-old activist also sought a direction from the court to the prison authorities to produce his medical records.

Activists, journalists, and writers had been petitioning the NIA and Maharashtra government to provide Rao with urgent medical care while many called on the Indian government to release political prisoners.

On Monday, Rao filed two petitions in the HC through his advocate R Satyanarayan Iyer one challenging a June 26 order passed by the special NIA court rejecting his bail plea and the second seeking a direction to the authorities of Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai to produce his medical records. The plea has also urged the court to direct the prison authorities to send Rao for medical check-up immediately and submit reports.

Rao has been behind bars for almost two years.

The second petition alleges the jail superintendent had not conducted tests on Rao, as suggested by the JJ Hospital, and hence action should be initiated against the errant officers of the jail.

Raos family had on Sunday sought the jail authorities to provide him with immediate medical condition and claimed that when the veteran activist, who hails from Telangana, contacted them last week he was in a “delirious state and hallucinating”.

Anand Teltumbde, another accused in the case, also filed an application before the special NIA court in Mumbai on Monday, seeking to be released on default bail on the ground that the prosecuting agency, NIA, had not filed its chargesheet even after the stipulated 90-day period.

Rao, Teltumbde and eight other activists have been arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case which was initially probed by the Pune police and later transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in January this year.

The case related to alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which, the police claimed, triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the outskirts of the city.

(With PTI inputs)