A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai on Friday, September 23, rejected the plea of poet-activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, seeking permission to travel to Hyderabad for cataract surgery. The Supreme Court had, in August, granted medical bail to the 82-year old activist, with his bail conditions being set by the special NIA court presiding over the case. Among the bail conditions laid down for Rao was that he would reside within the limits of Greater Mumbai and not leave the city without prior permission of the NIA court. Rao was arrested from his Hyderabad residence on August 18, 2018 in connection with the case.
On Friday, Rao sought permission to travel to Hyderabad for three months for cataract surgery and post surgical care formalities. As per his application, the poet-activist has cataract in both eyes and the condition requires operation and treatment.The plea was rejected by Special Judge RN Rokade.
Meanwhile, another accused in the Elgar Parishad case, Mahesh Raut, also moved an application for medical treatment. The court directed the jail superintendent to provide necessary medical aid and to refer the accused to a government hospital if required.The court also received a letter from Taloja Central Prison in neighbouring Navi Mumbai regarding misbehaviour of accused Sagar Gorkhe.
The case relates 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 on the outskirts of the western Maharashtra city. Pune police had claimed the conclave was organised by people with Maoist links and had registered a case on January 8, 2018 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) later took over the probe in the matter.