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Ailing Varavara Rao's 72-year-old wife asks Maharashtra government to arrange video call with him

Hemalatha in her letter said that it was only after three-four hours of grueling anxiety that they got to know about Rao falling unconscious on Thursday evening and being shifted to JJ Hospital

Published: 30th May 2020 01:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th May 2020 02:02 PM   |  A+A-

Revolutionary writer Varavara Rao

Revolutionary writer Varavara Rao (File Photo | EPS)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD: Wife of the jailed revolutionary Telugu poet and writer Varavara Rao, 72-year-old P Hemalatha, asked the Maharashtra government to arrange a video call so that his family members can get a clear idea of the state of his health. 

In an open letter on Saturday, Hemalatha said that Rao's family has not received any details of his health, apart from a brief message on Friday night from the Chikkadpally police informing them that he was taken to JJ Hospital in Mumbai from Taloja jail. This information was provided to the family members a day after the 79-year-old Rao was shifted to the hospital. 

Rao is one of the accused in the Elgar Parishad case and was shifted to Taloja jail earlier this year from the Yerwada jail in Pune. 

Hemalatha in her letter said that it was only after three-four hours of grueling anxiety that they got to know about Rao falling unconscious on Thursday evening and being shifted to JJ Hospital. By Friday evening, his vitals were stable. This information they got from a bulletin put out by JJ hospital and from media reports. 

However, another media report suggested that Rao was treated for three days in Taloja jail, before his condition deteriorated and he had to be shifted to JJ Hospital. 

Hemalatha pointed out that Rao has been suffering from various ailments including prostate enlargement, coronary artery disease, edema, hypertension, sinus, migraine and piles and that the reason why he fell unconscious must be thoroughly investigated. 

ALSO READ | Citing ill-health, Varavara Rao's daughters urge Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray to grant their father parole

The need for a video call was stressed by Hemalatha who pointed out that she is 72 years old and will not be able to make the journey till Mumbai. Moreover, family members need permission from the court to meet Rao. 

She alleged that Rao has been jailed for more than 18 months without any pieces of evidence and requested the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to intervene, pointing out that a leader from Telangana, G Kishan Reddy, presently serves as a Minister of State for Home Affairs. 

She mentioned that the Telangana government should also intervene, keeping in mind that Rao was an active participant in the 1969 struggle for Telangana statehood and added that if Telangana police issues necessary passes for her family members to travel, it would be enough and they will arrange their own transport. 

Rao tested negative for COVID-19 

On Friday, two daughters of the jailed writer, Pavana and Anala also spoke with the media in Hyderabad. They said that Rao was tested for COVID-19 and the tests came out negative. It may be mentioned here that recently it came to light that a prisoner from Taloja jail who died due to poor health, tested positive for COVID-19. 

The daughters said that over the last three months they could not meet their father in jail and were speaking to him over the phone only for a few minutes. They were informed by Rao that the jail has not been providing enough water, the sanitary conditions were poor and within the closed quarters where their father has been confined close to 30 people have been put under detention. 

They also said that the bail petition they moved in a Maharashtra court has been posted to June 2 for hearing. The daughters said that they got to know about the deteriorating health condition of Rao earlier and wrote to the Maharashtra Chief Minister, Chief Justice and Governor requesting them to release Rao on bail but received no response apart from an acknowledgment of letter from the CM's office. 



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