Varavara Rao, the 81-year-old poet-activist who has been in jail for over two years in the Koregaon-Bhima case, was granted bail for six months by the Bombay High Court today on medical grounds.
He is currently undergoing treatment at Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital where was admitted by the Maharashtra government following the high court’s intervention.
Mr Rao has been asked by the court to remain in Mumbai and be available for investigation whenever needed.
Earlier this month, his lawyer, Indira Jaising highlighted his poor health condition before the Bombay High Court, saying that of the 365 days since last February, he spent 149 days in hospital. She urged the court to let Mr Rao out of Maharashtra’s Taloja prison where he is lodged as an undertrial, and to permit him to go home and stay with his family in Hyderabad.
The case, being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), involves allegations of provocative speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed led to violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial.
Varavara Rao and nine other activists were accused of plotting the violence with Maoists. Mr Rao, who headed “Veerasam”, an association of revolutionary writers, has strongly denied the charge.