‘Shift poet Varavara Rao to hospital’: 15 MPs write to Maha CM

The MPs from Congress, DMK, CPI (M), VCK, CPI and RJD requested immediate medical attention to poet Varavara Rao as well as Dr GN Saibaba.
Opposition MPs demand jailed poet Varavara Rao to be shifted to a hospital
Opposition MPs demand jailed poet Varavara Rao to be shifted to a hospital
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Over a dozen Members of Parliament (MPs) from various Opposition parties, including the Congress, DMK, CPI(M), VCK, CPI and RJD, on Friday wrote a letter to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, requesting him to provide immediate medical care to revolutionary poet Varavara Rao and shift him to a hospital.

Rao has been imprisoned in the Taloja Jail. He was arrested for his alleged involvement in the Bhima Koregaon violence in 2018, and is accused of plotting the assasination of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.  

The 15 MPs who endorsed the request include: Kanimozhi (DMK), Komati Reddy Venkat Reddy (Congress), Manoj Jha (RJD), PR Natarajan (CPI(M)), KK Ragesh (CPI(M)), D Ravikumar (VCK), A Revanth Reddy (Congress), K Subbarayan (CPI), Sumathy Thamizhachi Thangapandian (DMK), Tiruchi Siva (DMK), Thol Thirumavalavan (VCK), Uttam Kumar Reddy (Congress) and S Venkatesan (CPI(M)).

Expressing concerns over his health, the MPs wrote that the aged poet is vomiting several times daily and is not keeping well in the jail. They said that Rao is a cardiac patient and has intestinal ulcers, which haven’t been investigated for more than six months.  

“As he is under such a dire health condition, we urge you to transfer him to hospital. The present level of care provided in the jail is not acceptable. We request you to give him the necessary and urgent medical attention by moving him to a hospital,” they wrote.

81-year-old Rao was admitted to JJ Hospital in Mumbai on May 30, after he fainted in prison. 

Varavara Rao's health reports from JJ Hospital indicate an electrolyte disturbance which could prove detrimental as he is already a cardiac patient, the MPs expressed. 

Besides Rao, the MPs also requested medical attention to former Delhi University professor Dr GN Saibaba incarcerated at the Nagpur Central jail, under the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).  

Earlier this week, over 130 renowned intellectuals from across the world, including Noam Chomsky, Judith Butler, Homi K Bhabha, Bruno Latour, Gerald Horne and Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, wrote a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind and Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde, appealing for the release of Varavara Rao and Dr GN Saibaba, in view of the coronavirus pandemic.  

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