Elgar Parishad Case: Varavara Rao, Shoma Sen Denied Bail From Taloja Jail

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MUMBAI: Revolutionary Telugu poet and writer Varavara Rao and Shoma Sen were denied temporary bail by a special court here on Friday.

Rao (80) and Sen (60) had sought temporary bail citing the coronavirus outbreak, claiming they suffered from multiple ailments and were at risk of contracting the infection due to their age.

Special public prosecutor (NIA) Prakash Shetty objected to the plea, and told court the two were not suffering from any life-threatening disease, and their medical reports did not show serious ailments needing hospitalisation, as reported by a news agency.

Accepting the NIA's submissions, the court rejected the pleas of Rao and Sen.

Rao, leader of Revolutionary Writers Association (RWA), is currently lodged at the Taloja jail at Navi Mumbai, which reportedly saw the death of a prisoner due to COVID-19.

Earlier, on May 30, after Rao fell unconscious in Taloja jail, he was admitted at JJ Hospital in Mumbai.

Two others arrested in the case, Arun Fereira and Rona Wilson, have also sought bail citing the virus outbreak. The court posted the matter for hearing on July 3.

Eleven people were arrested in the Elgar Parishad case, which relates to alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Maoist-backed conclave in Pune on December 31, 2017. Police said those speeches triggered caste violence the next day. Civil rights activists including Sudha Bharadwaj, Vernon Gonsalves, and Arun Ferreira were also arrested. The charge sheet filed by the Pune police accuses all of them of conspiring to eliminate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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