Following the outrage over the conditions in which Telugu poet Varvara Rao was accommodated in a state-run hospital due to his poor health, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has issued a notice to the Maharashtra government.
The notice was sent to Maharashtra chief secretary Sanjay Kumar and Director General (DG) of prisons in Maharashtra SN Pandey.
The commission has asked for a health report of Rao after he tested positive for COVID-19. According to the news reports, the commission has ordered the state to move him to a private facility for treatment, adding that the state government must bear the expenses for the treatment. As Rao was imprisoned in the state, it is responsible for his health.
A media report quoting Rao’s family members claimed that he was found in a urine-soaked bed and unattended by hospital staff members. He has been in jail for about 22 months.
He was arrested with nine other activists for allegedly giving inflammatory speeches made at Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune, on 31st December 2017, which led to violence at Koregaon-Bhima war memorial.
Several political leaders including senior Congress leader P Chidambaram questioned administration over Rao’s health condition.