NEW DELHI: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Friday referred to its expert panel the medical report of jailed poet-activist Varavara Rao. The report was submitted to the human rights panel by the Maharashtra government after Rao, 81, was hospitalised after being found Covid-19 positive.
The government informed the NHRC that it had shifted Rao to Nanavati Super Speciality Hospital in Mumbai on July 19. It submitted there was no intentional delay in shifting the poet-activist to the hospital keeping in view the requirement of arrangements including security.
The Maharashtra government also said constant vigil was kept on the prisoner’s health condition by doctors, the NHRC said in a statement. The NHRC added that it has found the report submitted by the Maharashtra government as “reasonable and plausible” and accepted it considering the fact that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the state in large scale.
The NHRC has asked its medical team to submit its report within two weeks. Rao, who was lodged in Taloja jail in Maharashtra in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon case for the past two years, is presently admitted in Nanavati Super Hospital in Mumbai.
“The case being complex one required proper coordination of multiple agencies, which includes, assessment of prisoner’s health condition by a team of experts, required procedural compliance, availability of beds in the super-speciality hospital, which is treating Covid-19 cases, proper coordination with the private authorities and adequate security measures for shifting the prisoner,” NHRC said.
‘Violation of human rights’
On July 13, the NHRC observed that the deteriorating health condition of Rao is a serious issue of violation of human rights after taking cognizance of the complaints about Rao’s health. The rights body had directed the state government to analyse his health condition.