Telugu poet-activist Varavara Rao was on Thursday discharged from Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai, after being treated for the coronavirus, and sent back to Taloja Jail, the Hindustan Times reported quoting South Region Prisons Inspector General Deepak Pandey.
The 81-year-old was shifted from Mumbai’s St George Hospital to Nanavati Hospital on July 19, after thousands of people had urged the authorities to look after his health and provide him access to adequate medical care as his health was deteriorating. He was imprisoned in the Taloja Jail after his arrest in the Elgar Parishad cases on August 31, 2018.
Rao’s family had written to the National Human Rights Commission, urging it to direct hospital authorities to update them regularly on his health status. The family members claimed they were not informed of his discharge on Thursday, The Indian Express reported.
“He is weak, but able to coherently hold conversations and is fully conscious,” a hospital official said on Thursday.
Last month, his lawyer told the Bombay High Court that Rao was almost on his deathbed. “Besides Covid-19, he suffers from several ailments, he is hallucinating and is delirious,” he had said. The court had said that Rao’s health required continuous monitoring. It noted medical reports which showed that while his electrolyte levels were normal, he still remained “disoriented”. The court will now hear his case on August 31.
Activist Vernon Gonsalves and academic Anand Teltumbde, who are Rao’s fellow inmates at Taloja Jail, had also filed a petition in the Bombay High Court, asking that they be tested for the coronavirus since they had close contact with him in jail.
Rao, Teltumbde and Gonsalves are among the activists and academics who have been accused of making inflammatory speeches at the Elgar Parishad conclave held at Shaniwar Wada in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the authorities claim triggered violence at Bhima-Koregaon war memorial the next day.