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Varavara Rao Need Not Surrender Until 18 November: Bombay HC

The court maintained that Varavara Rao's plea for extension of bail will be heard next month.

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<div class="paragraphs"><p>Varavara Rao is an accused in the Elgar Parishad Maoist links case.&nbsp;</p></div>
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The Bombay High Court, on Tuesday, 26 October, said that Varavara Rao, an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, need not surrender before the police or Taloja Jail authorities until 18 November.

The court maintained that Rao's plea for extension of bail will be heard next month, however, he will have to file a fresh plea to be able to stay in Hyderabad with his family instead of Mumbai.

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The court had earlier ordered that he has to stay within the National Investigation Agency (NIA)'s jurisdiction and had to periodically mark his presence by reporting to the nearing police station through video call or WhatsApp, Scroll.in reported.

Rao was on a bail granted on medical grounds for which he has requested extension thrice already.

The 82-year-old poet claims that he has been suffering from neurological condition and being sent back to judicial custody will deteriorate his health further.

Another accused in the same case, Father Stan Swamy, had earlier died in prison a day before his bail hearing. He was suffering from Parkinson's disease and had contracted COVID-19 in jail. While many of the accused in the Bhima Koregaon case are over 60 years of age and are battling ailments, a NIA court in September 2021 rejected bail pleas of four of them.

A total of 16 activists and academicians have been accused of "waging war against the state" under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Their activities are being traced to the violence that broke out on 1 January 2018 and lead to caste violence where one person died in the violence and about 40 vehicles were damaged. The accused have been remanded for criminal conspiracy.

(With inputs from Scroll.in.)

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