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Poet Activist Varavara Rao granted bail for 6 months


LAST UPDATED: Feb. 22, 2021, 4:23 p.m.

Vibhuti Kakkar, Mumbai: Poet Activist Varavara Rao who has spent the last two years in jail in the Koregaon-Bhima case, has been granted bail by the Bombay High Court on medical grounds for a total of 6 months. He is 81 years old.

He is currently admitted at the Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai by the Maharashtra government followed by the orders of the Bombay High Court.

The High Court has asked Rao to remain in Mumbai and be available for investigation whenever required. The passport of the poet-activist will also be seized by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

Moreover, he is not allowed to be in contact with the co-accused. He also needs to submit a personal bond of Rs 50,000 and two sureties of the same amount.

He has been in custody since August 28, 2018.

Today, the High Court said that if it did not grant bail to Varavara Rao, the duty to protect the principles of human rights and a citizen’s fundamental rights to life and health will be violated.

“We are relieved. It is a big relief to us. Because for the last 2.5 years, no one was getting even a small relief in this case. This is the first relief in the Koregaon-Bhima case. We are very happy but the condition is there that we have to be in Mumbai. We have to think about that and plan. We will talk to the lawyers,” Rao’s daughter Pavani said.

Rao’s lawyer has said before the Bombay High Court that his health has been unstable for the last one year. Out of 365 days from last February, he has spent 149 days in hospital. She appealed before the Bombay High court to let him grant bail from the Taloja Prison and let him live with his family in Hyderabad.

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The case involves allegations of provocative speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which led to violence the next day near Koregaon-Bhima war memorial, the police officials claimed.

Along with Varavara Rao, nine other people were accused of creating violence with Maoists.

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