Varavara Rao Unwell & Hallucinating; Family Alleges Negligence
According to Rao’s family, he needs immediate medical care for not only physical but also neurological issues.
Denying the rumours of the death of the 78-year-old poet and journalist Varavara Rao, his family while addressing a virtual press conference on Sunday, 12 July, said while he is alive and fighting, they are very much worried about his deteriorating health.
“He has been keeping unwell for quite some time now, however, recent telephonic conversations with him have suggested that his health is precarious,” his daughter P Pavana said.
“When we spoke to him, he sounded incoherent and unstable. He was finding it difficult to comprehend basic questions which is very unlikely of him. He is totally disoriented and is experiencing hallucinations.”P Pavana, Daughter of Varavara Rao
‘He Needs Assistance to Walk & Even Brush His Teeth’
According to Rao’s family, he sounded delirious during a phone call on Saturday. “He hallucinated talk about the funeral of his father and mother, the events that happened seven decades and four decades ago respectively,” his daughter said.
In a press release by Varavara Rao’s family, his wife and daughters said they’ve been informed by Rao’s co-accused companion that he needs assistance to walk and even brush his teeth.
A special court turned down Rao’s interim bail application in June and his appeal before the Bombay High Court is still pending.
‘Government Cannot Deny Him the Right to Life’
While accusing the jail authorities of sheer negligence, Varavara Rao’s family has demanded that the government shift him to a better hospital or allow them to provide the required medical care. “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,” his family said in the press release.
According to a report by The Wire, Rao’s lawyer Nihalsing Rathod has sent an email to the jail authorities asking for urgent access to his latest medical report. He has also sought for a video call to be arranged between Rao and his family members.
Romila Thapar, Others Appeal to Maharashtra Government & NIA to Facilitate Proper Treatment to Varavara Rao
Several intellectuals including Romila Thapar, Prabhat Patnaik, Devaki Jain, Maja Daruwala and Satish Deshpande have appealed to the Government of Maharashtra and the National Investigation Agency to facilitate the immediate transfer of Varavara Rao to JJ Hospital where he can receive proper treatment.
Varavara Rao is among the nine human rights activists arrested by the Maharashtra Police from across the country in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence, which broke out in January 2018. In the charge sheet, police also alleged that the activists hatched a plan to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Rao was moved from Pune’s Yerwada Jail toTaloja Jail earlier this year. Since then there have been several reports of his deteriorating health.
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