Jailed poet Varavara Rao tests positive for COVID-19: Report

The activist and his family had sought jail authorities to provide him with immediate medical care

varavara rao
Varavara Rao has been in jail for two years since his arrest in 2018. Photo: PTI File

Two days after poet and activist Varavara Rao was admitted to a hospital in Mumbai following complaint of dizziness, he has tested positive for COVID-19, The News Minute reported.

Rao has been lodged in Taloja Central Jail in Navi Mumbai for almost two years in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case. On Tuesday (July 14), after he complained of dizziness, prison authorities admitted him to the state-run JJ Hospital.

The activist and his family members had earlier claimed that he was unwell, and sought the jail authorities to provide him with immediate medical care.

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On Monday (July 13), Rao filed two petitions in the Bombay High Court, seeking temporary bail owing to his deteriorating health and a direction to the jail authorities to produce his medical records and admit him to a state-run or private hospital.

Rao’s family members on Sunday sought the jail authorities to provide him immediate medical care and claimed that when the veteran activist, who hails from Telangana, contacted them last week he was in a “delirious state and hallucinating”.

Related News: Jailed poet Varavara Rao shifted to hospital after health deteriorates

Rao had earlier approached the special NIA court, seeking bail on medical grounds and the prevailing COVID-19 situation. On June 26, the NIA court rejected his plea on the ground that he has been booked under stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

Rao and nine other activists have been arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links 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.

(With inputs from agencies)

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