State trying to kill Varavara Rao in jail, he needs immediate hospitalisation, says arrested revolutionary’s kin

HYDERABAD: Arrested revolutionary poet Varavara Rao’s health is fast deteriorating and the State is trying to kill him, alleged his family on Sunday, further demanding urgent intervention from the authorities. Their immediate case of concern is to get him better tretment, they said.       

Breaking down during a virtual press conference on Sunday, Varavara Rao’s wife Hemalatha said, “During a phone call, he asked me if I attended his parents’ funerals who died over seven decades back. He sounded weak and his voice and speech were muffled and incoherent switching from Telugu to Hindi abruptly.”

“As an eloquent and articulate public speaker and writer in Telugu for over five decades, a Telugu teacher for four decades and known for his meticulous memory, this fumbling, incoherence and loss of memory were in themselves strange and frightening,” said Varavara Rao’s daughter Pavana. The call made on July 11 was much more worrisome as he did not answer straight questions on his health and seemed in a state of delirum.

As Varavara Rao was struggling to speak, his co-accused Vernon Gonsalves took the phone from him and informed his family that he is not able to walk, go to toilet and even brush his teeth on his own, they said.

“We were also told that he is always hallucinating. He sees us and other family members waiting at the jail gate to receive as if he is getting released,” Pavana said.

Alleging that no medical care is being given at the jail hospital, Pavana said, “The confusion, loss of memory and incoherence are the results of electrolyte imbalance and fall of sodium and potassium levels leading to brain damage. This electrolyte imbalance may be fatal also. Taloja Jail Hospital is not at all equipped to handle this kind of serious medical condition. It is highly required that he be shifted to a fully equipped super specialty hospital to save his life and prevent possible brain damage and risk to life due to electrolyte imbalance.”

Stating that five-times his bail plea has been rejected, Varavarao’s nephew N Venugopal said, “Our single demand is to shift him to a multi-speciality hospital.”

Rao, who is currently undergoing treatment in Taloja Jail Hospital in Mumbai, was arrested in November, 2018 for his alleged links with the Bhima Koregaon violance and a Maoist conspiracy to murder PM Narendra Modi. He was moved from Pune’s Yerwada prisons to Taloja central jail in the outskirts of Mumbai earlier this year. This was just a few days before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in India. Since then, the condition, especially in Mumbai, has been deteriorating.



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