Activist Varavara Rao, arrested in Bhima Koregaon case, gets interim bail for 6 months

Varavara Rao is among over a dozen scholars and rights activists arrested for their alleged links with Maoists and for allegedly instigating violence at Bhima Koregaon near Pune in 2018.
Poet-social activist Varavara Rao was shifted to the private hospital late Wednesday night.(PTI File Photo)
Poet-social activist Varavara Rao was shifted to the private hospital late Wednesday night.(PTI File Photo)
Updated on Feb 22, 2021 12:14 PM IST
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Byhindustantimes.com | Written by Kanishka Sarkar

Telugu poet and activist Varavara Rao, who is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, was granted interim bail for six months on medical grounds by Bombay High Court on Monday. The order came on a petition filed by the wife of 82-year-old Rao’s wife, P Hemlatha. The activist’s wife had cited Rao’s frail health and co-morbidities in her plea to the high court seeking temporary bail on medical grounds. 

She had pointed out that a previous Nanavati Hospital report said that Rao was fit to be discharged and could take care of himself. In January, Rao’s counsel submitted that shifting Rao to Sir JJ Hospital could result in a relapse, and hence the option was to either send him to Taloja jail or his house in Hyderabad. 

Additional solicitor general Anil Singh, who was appearing for the National Investigation Agency (NIA), however, had argued that there were many undertrials in Maharashtra who were suffering from various ailments and being given requisite medical care by the state while in prison. The court was also informed that the poet could meet his family in the prison ward and therefore his application for bail so that he can return to his Hyderabad home should be rejected.

The court has asked Rao to stay in Mumbai, within the jurisdiction of the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, during the bail period.

On account of Rao’s ill health, the high court had, in November 2020, directed the state and NIA to shift Rao to Nanavati Hospital, a private super-speciality hospital in Mumbai, after he tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). 

The poet is among over a dozen scholars and rights activists arrested for their alleged links with Maoists and for allegedly instigating violence at Bhima Koregaon near Pune in 2018. Rao has been booked under the anti-terror law, UAPA, 1967, a non-bailable offence, by the special NIA court in the Elgar Parishad and Bhima Koregaon case that was transferred from the Pune Police to NIA in February 2020.

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Friday, December 03, 2021