Jailed for over two years in the Bhima-Koregaon case, Poet-activist Varavara Rao walked out of Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital after being granted a medical bail for six months by the Bombay High Court.
Rao, 81, was in a treatment at the hospital where he was admitted by the Maharashtra government after the high court intervened. His lawyer Indira Jaisingh posted a photo of him and tweeted that the activist was “free at last”.
Rao was caught by police back in 2018. Since then he was in jail. He contracted Covid-19 in July 2020 and has been in and out of hospital because of his health. On July 16 this year, he tested COVID positive after which he was shifted to the Nanavati hospital. He was discharged following a final report on July 30 and was sent back to the Taloja prison.
Senior lawyer Jaising told the Bombay High Court that the conditions of Rao’s detention were “cruel, inhuman, and degrading” and she urged it to exercise its jurisdiction under Article 226 of the Constitution to release him from prison.
Rao along with some activists was arrested for alleged links with Maoists following the Elgar Parishad conclave in Maharashtra’s Pune district on December 31, 2017.