HYDERABAD: As many as 40 prominent writers across the country have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting the release of writer Varavara Rao from Yerawada Central Jail of Pune keeping in mind the writer’s age and the prevailing Covid-19 crisis.
Varavara Rao has been lodged in Yerawada jail in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case since November, 2018. A well-known poet and writer in Telugu, he has been suffering from various health ailments in the crowded jail, they said. In the letter, the writers pointed out that various State governments had issued orders to release inmates to avoid overcrowding in jails. They said Vernon Gonsalves, a fellow prisoner, had informed them that Varavara Rao’s health condition had been worsening inside the prison and that he needed proper medical assistance.
“At the age of 80, Varavara Rao is being kept in a prison which is heavily crowded. Us poets from various languages in India, request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to release poet Varavara Rao urgently,” the writers said. Signatories to the letter include writers such as Gulzar, Ashok Vajpeyi, Manglesh Dabral, K Satchidanandan, K Sivareddy, K G Sankara Pillai, Yumlembam Ibomcha, Robin Ngangom, Mamang Dai, Chandrakant Patil, Gauhar Raza, Keki N Daruwalla and Prabodh Parikh.