HYDERABAD: As many as 520 Telugu poets, writers and artists on Wednesday urged Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde, Chief Justice of the Maharashtra High Court Dipankar Datta and the State’s Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to ensure the release of jailed revolutionary poet Varavara Rao and Delhi University professor GN Saibaba.
Telangana Press Academy chairman Allam Narayana, Sahitya Academy chairman Nandini Siddha Reddy, Prof Jayadheer Tirumala Rao, Volga, N Venugopal, G Kalyan Rao, Vimalakka, Ele Lakshman, Dr Pasunuri Dayakar, Suddala Ashok Teja, Vemana Vasantha Lakshmi and Sky Baba were among the 520 personalities who wrote to the top officials.
Varavara Rao, 80, is undergoing treatment at the Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai for COVID-19, apart from neurological and urological ailments.
Expressing shock and agony over his health, the writers stated, “It is quite disturbing that such a man in his old age is languishing in a prison for the last two years and is unable to gather words to utter. It is inhuman to incarcerate him at this stage when he cannot even perform his daily chores without assistance. Varavara Rao has tested positive for Covid. This gross negligence towards a human life in judicial custody is against all legal and ethical norms. We plead you to give him better treatment according to the NHRC guidelines and release him on bail immediately”.
Meanwhile, Prof Saibaba, who is 90 per cent disabled with multiple long-term illnesses, is in the Anda Cell (solitary confinement) of the Pune Jail. Pressing for the release of Saibaba on parole, they wrote, “Covid cases are increasing in the Nagpur Central Prison and Saibaba faces a high risk”.