Daughters of poet Varavara Rao write to Maharashtra govt seeking his release on health grounds

Rao is currently lodged at the Taloja jail at Navi Mumbai, which reportedly saw the death of a prisoner due to COVID19.
Varavara Rao
Varavara Rao
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Daughters of imprisoned Varavara Rao, revolutionary poet and leader of Revolutionary Writers Association (RWA) have urged the Maharashtra government to grant him bail or parole considering his health condition.

80-year old Rao was jailed as part of the Bhima Koregaon violence case in November 2018 on allegations that he was part of a group that was conspiring to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Rao's daughters, Sahaja, Pavana and Anala, have written a letter addressing Governor of Maharashtra, Chief Justice of Mahrashtra High Court and Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Rao is currently lodged at the Taloja jail at Navi Mumbai, which reportedly saw the death of a prisoner due to COVID19. In the letter, the three women said, "Our father is aged 80 and ailing with multiple health issues and highly vulnerable to be affected by corona virus. During the last eight weeks of lockdown, we were not allowed to visit him in jail and even the usual correspondence was also disallowed."

They further stated, "The lawyers were also not permitted to visit him. We have been extremely anxious to find out his well-being and during these eight weeks, he was allowed to make phone calls for three times to speak to our mother, who is also ailing and 70 plus. Even the phone conversation was allowed only for two minutes. "

Stating that their father was not guilty in 25 cases charged against him in the last 47 years, Rao's daughters said that his he had right to life as guaranteed by Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.

Alleging that Varavara Rao's advocate Padma's calls to ask about his health condition went unanswered, they have urged for temporary bail or parole, on the grounds of age, health and COVID-19. They have also asked the government to allow family members to visit Rao in jail to assure themselves personally of his safety and well-being. They have also requested that he be allowed to make frequent phone calls and write letters to his family and advocates.

Earlier in April, as many as 40 prominent writers have written to Narendra Modi requesting the release of Rao amid the pandemic.

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