Varavara Rao needs medical help: family

81-year-old famous poet not receiving any treatment inside jail, they say

Updated - July 12, 2020 07:19 pm IST

Published - July 11, 2020 11:07 pm IST - Mumbai

Varavara Rao, 81-year-old famous poet incarcerated at the Taloja jail, called his family after eight days on Saturday and spoke about his parents’ death, said his daughter Pavana.

She told The Hindu , “He had called us on July 2 and was talking normally then. But today he was incoherent. He was talking to my mother [his wife] about his parents’ death. He was 7 when his father died and his mother died in 1981. He started talking about his mother’s funeral and said about 6,000 people had come for it.”

She said, ‘He was hallucinating and his voice dropped. He then gave the phone to Vernon Gonsalves, 61, [another accused in the Bhima Koregaon violence lodged with him]. Vernon has been taking care of him at the hospital ward in the jail,” Ms. Pavana added.

‘He is stable physically but he needs help neurologically. He is not receiving any treatment inside jail. He has been sick since he was discharged from the JJ Hospital on June 1.”

On May 28, Mr. Rao complained of giddiness and fainted once. It is only after his lawyers have moved the special sessions that the hospital was directed to share his medical reports with the family. The report said he has vertigo and his CT scan revealed he is developing “age-related atrophy”.

On June 6, he had written a five-page letter to his family telling them that he is fine and is eating well.

Mr. Rao’s appeal against rejecting his bail is slated to be heard by the Bombay High Court on July 17.

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