Hyderabad

‘Varavara Rao living under pathetic conditions in jail’

Revolutionary writer Varavara Rao’s wife P. Hemalata demanded better facilities for the former in Yerawada Central Prison of Pune, as he is being allegedly kept under pathetic jail conditions.

According to her, 79-year-old Varavara Rao is being forced to sleep on the floor and not provided adequate facilities, including a cot and chair. “After repeated appeals, the prison officials have installed a ceiling fan in his barrack in the end of summer, which had a switch outside,” she said.

On Friday, Ms. Hemalata wrote to Maharashtra Governor Ch. Vidyasagar Rao asking him to intervene in the matter and direct the government to provide basic amenities to her septuagenarian husband, keeping in view his age and deteriorating health.

Addressing a press conference on Friday, she said that Mr. Varavara Rao, a Telugu poet and lecturer for the past six decades, is being denied to read or write in his mother tongue, Telugu. “The prison staff has allowed him books only in English. We request the government to let him read Telugu books and newspapers,” she said.

Mr. Varavara Rao and eight others, including civil rights activist Sudha Bhardwaj and Sudhir Dhawale, were arrested by Pune police last year for allegedly plotting to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi. They are also accused in a case related to the Bhima-Koregaon violence in Maharashtra in 2017.

“I came to know through the media that Varavara Rao and his eight co-accused had written a letter to you (Mr. Vidyasagar Rao) and waiting for your response for the last one month. However, neither did I get any response from the media nor was there any improvement in the conditions in Pune jail. That’s why I chose to write to you once again,” Ms. Hemalata said in her letter. She reminded the Maharashtra Governor of his association with Mr. Varavara Rao during the Emergency days in prisons.

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Printable version | Sep 24, 2020 7:02:44 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/varavara-rao-living-under-pathetic-conditions-in-jail/article28601853.ece

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