National

Family demands official health updates on Varavara Rao

Varavara Rao. File  

The family of poet-activist P. Varavara Rao, arrested in connection with the Elgar Parishad case, said they were not being provided with any official health updates on his condition, which is illegal and unconstitutional given that he is in judicial custody, and that this spreads rumours and speculation.

A press release from the family says, “While he was shifted from Taloja Jail to JJ Hospital to St. George Hospital to Nanavati Hospital during the last one week the family got an official information only when he was tested Covid positive. All the other information is known to the family through secondary sources. The information of shifting him to Nanavati Hospital and the worrying news of his health status and deterioration for the last two days, including finding out about a head injury, was known to family through friends in media and civil society. In the absence of any official and transparent information, various speculations, rumours and half truths are also being spread causing further anxiety to family and friends.”

‘Family’s right’

His wife, Hemalatha and three daughters Sahaja, Anala and Pavana said they read in the news that he suffered a head injury, either in JJ Hospital or at St. George Hospital, but discovered on his arrival at Nanavati Hospital, made them highly perturbed and worried for his safety and well-being. They said it was the family’s right to get official transparent updates on his health status, line of treatment and probable risks, but the concerned prison, police and health administrations, in a gross dereliction of their duties, had not come out to the family with the much-needed information. This was not only a gross violation of the family’s right to information, but also a grave misconduct on the part of State government institutions, they said.

The family demanded that the Maharashtra government allow a family member to assist/attend to Mr. Rao since he was reportedly not in a position to do anything on his own. They also demanded that the hospital administration or prison administration be immediately directed to provide transparent, official updates on Mr. Rao’s health status and line of treatment on a regular basis once or twice in a day as long as he was in hospital. They also asked that the family be provided a contact in the hospital to seek and get the information, that all his medical records be made accessible to the family, and that all hurdles be removed so that the judicial process be enabled to grant regular bail or interim bail on grounds of health, age and the COVID-19 pandemic, so that his family could take care of his health in a hospital of their choice.

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 11:30:09 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/family-demands-official-health-updates-on-varavara-rao/article32141724.ece

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