New Delhi: The People’s Union for Democratic Rights on Monday expressed shock at the deteriorating health condition of poet Varavara Rao, and called for his immediate release.
“PUDR is shocked to learn of the deteriorating condition of P Varavara Rao in Taloja Jail,” the statement read. “His family has held a press conference on July 12, 2020 drawing attention to his almost delirious and incoherent speech evident in his recent phone calls. His co-accused attendant has informed that Varavara Rao is unable to walk or look after himself.”
Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, is lodged in Taloja jail in Mumbai and his family has accused the authorities of neglecting his condition.
Rao’s counsel and family said they had received a phone call from the poet on Saturday. During the conversation, which lasted for 1.5 minutes, Rao was unable to speak coherently. A co-inmate, who spoke to the family, informed them that he has been dependent on others for daily chores as his condition has worsened in the last week.
In it’s statement, the PUDR said that it had become a standard process for the National Investigation Agency, which is probing Rao, to contend that the poet is not suffering from a life-threatening disease and is therefore not eligible for bail. “Most recently, despite being hospitalized in a city hospital after falling unconscious on May 28, 2020, his bail application was turned down primarily because he was shown as stable as per the Taloja Jail medical report,” the organisation said.
The organisation further accused the jail administration of not taking care of those in custody. “Further, in this context, the attempts to block the bail applications of an ailing 81-year-old tantamount to risking his life,” the statement added. “PUDR demands that Varavara Rao be released immediately and that no restrictions be placed on his access to proper medical care.”