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Poet Varavara Rao moves HC for bail in Elgar Parishad case


Varavara Rao gestures while being escorted by security officials _file


Mumbai: Poet and activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, on Monday approached the Bombay High Court seeking temporary bail owing to his deteriorating medical condition and the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic.

The 80-year-old activist also sought a direction from the court to the prison authorities to produce his medical records.

Rao filed two petitions in the HC through his advocate R Satyanarayan Iyer one challenging a June 26 order passed by the special NIA court rejecting his bail plea and the second seeking a direction to the authorities of Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai to produce his medical records.

Rao, who is behind bars for almost two years, has sought temporary bail considering his medical condition and the prevailing COVID-19 situation.

In the second plea, the poet-activist has sought a direction to the Taloja prison, where he is lodged, to produce his medical records post June 2, 2020, when he was discharged from state-run J J Hospital.

The plea has also urged the court to direct the prison authorities to send Rao for medical check-up immediately and submit reports.

The second petition alleges the jail superintendent had not conducted tests on Rao, as suggested by the J J Hospital, and hence action should be initiated against the errant officers of the jail.

Both the pleas are likely to be taken up for urgent hearing this week.

Raos family had on Sunday sought the jail authorities to provide him with immediate medical condition and claimed that when the veteran activist, who hails from Telangana, contacted them last week he was in a "delirious state and hallucinating".

Another accused in the case, Anand Teltumbde, on Monday filed an application before the special NIA court here seeking to be released on default bail on the ground that the prosecuting agency, NIA, has not filed its chargesheet even after the stipulated 90-day period.

Rao, Teltumbde and eight other activists have been arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case which was initially probed by the Pune police and later transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in January this year.

The case 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 Koregaon-Bhima war memorial located on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city.

The police have also claimed the conclave was organised by people with alleged Maoist links.

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