Activist Vernon Gonsalves, who is among those accused in the Elgar Parishad case, is on oxygen support in Mumbai’s JJ Hospital after contracting dengue in prison, his wife, lawyer Susan Abraham, told Scroll.in on Thursday.
Abraham said that the 65-year-old undertrial should have been admitted to hospital “long back”. He was in Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai.
The activist’s lawyer Krutika Agarwal told National Investigation Agency court in Mumbai on Thursday that there was also a possibility that her client may be suffering from pneumonia.
During the hearing, Agarwal told judge Rajesh J Kataria that Abraham had not been allowed to meet Gonsalves in the hospital.
The court allowed Abraham and the activist’s brother Hillary Gonsalves to meet the undertrial at the hospital daily for half an hour till September 11. The judge directed that all security precautions should be followed during the visits.
The court passed the order while hearing a petition by Vernon Gonsalves seeking temporary bail on medical grounds, according to PTI. The plea will be heard next on September 15.
The Elgar Parishad event took place in Pune on December 31, 2017, a day before violent clashes broke out between Maratha and Dalit groups near the village of Bhima Koregaon in Maharashtra. Sixteen persons were arrested for allegedly plotting the violence.
Dalit groups and activists have accused Hindutva leaders Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide of instigating the violence through hate speeches before the incident. However, the focus of the National Investigation Agency has been on the Elgar Parishad event being part of a larger Maoist conspiracy to stoke caste violence, destabilise the central government and assassinate the prime minister.
The Centre transferred the case to the National Investigation Agency in January 2020. The trial in the case is yet to begin.
Out of the 16 arrested persons, Jesuit priest Stan Swamy died at a hospital in Mumbai while in custody. Two other accused persons, Sudha Bharadwaj and Varavara Rao, are currently out on bail.
Apart from Gonsalves, the other accused persons in custody are Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson, Surendra Gadling, Shoma Sen, Mahesh Raut, Arun Ferreira, Anand Teltumbde, Gautam Navlakha, Hany Babu, Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor and Jyoti Jagtap.