Activist Vernon Gonsalves’ wife on Monday said that he is recovering at the state-run JJ Hospital in Mumbai and they are not pressing for his medical bail at the moment.
Gonsalves, who is among those accused in the Elgar Parishad case, has been in the hospital since September 8 after he contracted dengue in prison. The activist had to be put on oxygen support.
On Monday, his wife Susan Abraham told Scroll.in that they have not withdrawn the 65-year-old undertrial’s bail application filed before a special National Investigation Agency court.
The application, she said, sought that Gonsalves be admitted to hospital, access to his medical records and permission for his family to visit him in jail. The application also asked the authorities to not discharge the activist from the hospital prematurely.
Abraham had not even been allowed to meet Gonsalves at the hospital, the activist’s lawyer had told the court on September 8.
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 Bhima Koregaon village in Maharashtra. Sixteen people were arrested for allegedly plotting the violence.
While Dalit groups and individuals have accused Hindutva leaders Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide of instigating the violence through hate speeches before the incident, 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, 84-year-old 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.
Corrections and clarifications: This article has been updated after Vernon Gonsalves’ wife clarified that they have not withdrawn the medical plea. An earlier version, citing PTI, had said that Gonsalves withdrew his plea.