‘Not releasing Vara Vara Rao from jail is like trying to kill him there’

Sruthi Vibhavari

Hyderabad: The family of 77-year old political activist, poet, and writer Vara Vara Rao released an open statement on his deteriorating health condition and the urgent need for medical attention to him.

Rao is currently under trial in NIA’s investigation of Elgar Parishad- Koregoan Bhima case at Navi Mumbai’s Taloja jail.

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The statement came after a routine phone call with the poet-activist on July 11, which said his tone was delirious on the call about incidents that took place decades ago. “As an eloquent and articulate public speaker and writer in Telugu for over five decades, a Telugu teacher for four decades and known for his meticulous memory, this fumbling, incoherence and loss of memory were in themselves strange and frightening,” the family stated their perturbation.

A co-prisoner is also known to have mentioned to the family about Rao’s inability to do his own regular chores and that he needs immediate medical care. The Taloja jail hospital is unequipped, the family said, and that his medical condition requires treatment at a super-specialty hospital. The family also stated various failed attempts in securing bail even on the basis of his age, ill-health, and risk at contracting COVID-19.

“We want to remind the government that it has no right to deny the right to life of any person, much less an undertrial prisoner,” the family concludes.

Prof.  Haragopal, activist and convener of the Forum Against Repression, had also written to Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao seeking his intervention in releasing the poet.

Maharashtra police arrested nine human rights activists from across the country in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence, which broke out in January 2018. Police, in its charge sheet, alleged that activists were plotting to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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