Elgar Parishad: Family fears authorities might claim Varavara Rao’s health to be normal before Bombay HC hearingUpdated: Jul 15, 2020 02:07 IST
A day after Telugu poet and activist P Varavara Rao, arrested in the Elghar Parishad case, was moved out of Taloja jail to Sir JJ Hospital for a medical evaluation, his family fears that authorities might show a report claiming his health to be normal just before his bail plea is scheduled for hearing before the Bombay high court (HC) on Friday.
The family on Tuesday morning released a statement pleading for 81-year-old Rao to be kept in hospital till he completely recovers and not to discharge him in a hurry.
The family in their statement said, “Rao was shifted to JJ Hospital from Taloja jail on Monday afternoon. Till midnight he was undergoing various tests in different medical departments. Even at that time, hospital officials reportedly said he was brought in for evaluation only and did not confirm whether he was going to be admitted. Since the results of the reports might take a couple of days, he may be retained in hospital, according to the available information after midnight.”
The family has alleged that authorities have not provided any information officially to them on Rao’s health and even when he was taken to hospital. “Though it was mandatory to inform family about these developments, either government or jail, police, hospital authorities did not provide any official information to the family,” read their statement.
On May 28, Rao was taken to hospital after he fell unconscious and was discharged on June 1. The family alleged that Rao’s discharge was not proper, so as to obstruct his bail plea. “He was not normal at the time of discharge. While the sodium normal range is 134-145, he attained only 133 and when the potassium normal range is 3.5 to 5.0, he attained only 3.55, according to the hospital’s own discharge summary. But, later on June 2, it was proved that all this — admission in hospital, getting a normal report, getting him discharged — was part of a conspiracy by the police. June 2 was the date of hearing of his bail application on health grounds in the [National Investigation Agency] NIA special sessions court and police argued against his bail, showing this hospital’s “normal” report. The judge accepted that and refused bail on June 26,” read the family’s statement, expressing fear that the authorities might repeat the same this time.
Rao, on Monday, had moved the HC against the order of the special NIA court, which had rejected his interim bail application on June 26. Rao had sought interim bail on the grounds of his failing health condition due to his advanced age and susceptibility to contracting Covid-19. Rao’s family members raised an alarm about his health condition after speaking with him over the phone on Saturday. They found him to be incoherent and suffering from hallucinations.
Rao, who has been behind bars for almost two years, and nine other activists have been arrested in the Elgar Parishad case, which was initially probed by the Pune Police and later transferred to the NIA in January this year. The case is 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 Bhima-Koregaon war memorial.