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Poet And Activist Varavara Rao’s Health Deteriorating, Family Claims

Rao’s family claimed his health condition has been deteriorating ever since he was shifted to the state-run J J hospital in Mumbai in an unconscious state

MUMBAI| The poet and activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, health is deteriorating and he is “hallucinating and is in a delirious state”, his family claimed on Sunday and urged the authorities concerned to provide him with better medical aid.

The 81-year-old activist is currently lodged at the Taloja jail in Maharashtra’s Navi Mumbai township. Addressing an online press conference, Rao’s wife, daughters and other family members said they were worried about his “deteriorating health”. They claimed his health condition has been deteriorating ever since he was shifted to the state-run J J hospital in Mumbai in an unconscious state on May 28, 2020. Three days later, he was discharged and sent back to the jail even ad there was no improvement in his health condition they said.

“We were very much disturbed as during his routine calls (to family members) allowed by police, his voice was weak, he was incoherent, mumbling and unable to speak,” Rao’s wife said.

On Saturday, Rao did not answer straight questions on his health and went into a kind of “delirious and hallucinating state”, she claimed, adding that he talked about the funeral of his father and mother, the events that happened decades ago. She said Rao’s co-accused informed them that the activist was unable to walk on his own.

She said, “We were also told he is always hallucinating that the family members were waiting at the jail gate to receive him as he was getting released.” She claimed, “The confusion, loss of memory and incoherence are a result of the electrolyte imbalance in the body and fall in sodium and potassium levels, leading to possible brain damage.”

The family also said the Taloja jail is “not equipped to handle his medical condition”. His wife said, “Thus, it is highly required that Rao be shifted to a better hospital to save his life.” The family said at the present juncture, they were keeping aside all the pertinent facts of the case registered against Rao.

Rao’s wife said, “His life is the topmost concern for us right now. Our present demand is to save his life. We demand the government to shift him to a better hospital or allow us to provide the required medical care.”

“We want to remind the government that it has no right to deny the right to life to any person, much less an undertrial prisoner,” she added.

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