Mumbai : The state prison authorities on Tuesday shifted the noted poet and ultra-left ideologue, Varavara Rao to JJ Hospital after his health was deteriorated and his family members urged the government to move the ailing Rao to a hospital from Taloja jail near Mumbai.
The Pune police had arrested activist Varvara Rao from his Hyderabad residence in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence case in Pune district two years ago. He has been put in Maharashtra jail since 2018.
His family had said that Rao was having disorientation and confusion while speaking due to electrolyte imbalance and fall of sodium and potassium levels in the body. Vernon Gonsalves, co-accused in the Bhima-Koregaon case, who takes care of Rao inside the prison, told the family that he was not able to walk, go to the toilet and brush his teeth on his own.
Meanwhile, R. Sathyanarayanan representing Rao in courts in Mumbai has filed an application before the Bombay High Court to urgently hear Rao’s appeal against the rejection of interim medical bail. It is slated to be heard on July 17.
Marxist ideologue was in late May brought to JJ Hospital but kept there for just three days despite having little improvement in his health. From June 1, he had been lodged in a hospital ward of Taloja jail where the medical facilities were insufficient, the family members had said. About 2,000 intellectuals across the country, Left leaders and many social organisations had come in Rao’s support, expressing concern over his deteriorating health.
The leader of the Opposition and the Congress leader, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury urged the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene into the matter and release him from jail. In his letter, Chowdhury wrote, “In this country, a person of 81 years of age has been languishing in jail for years without knowing his offence, now he has been mentally disoriented, having no medical assistance, his name is poet Varavara Rao. Please do release him from his incarceration, release him from jail, in this age he cannot be a threat to one of the strongest countries in the world, India.”
The Opposition leader also said that the Prime Minister should intervene in the matter and save his life. “Otherwise, the future generations of the country would not forgive us,” he further said.