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Varavara Rao taken to JJ Hospital in Mumbai

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Mumbai, July 14: Poet and activist Varavara Rao, arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, has been taken to the state-run J J Hospital here after he complained of dizziness, his lawyer said on Tuesday.

Rao, 80, has been behind bars for almost two years and lodged at the Taloja jail in neighbouring Navi Mumbai.

Varavara Rao taken to JJ Hospital in Mumbai

The activist and his family members have claimed he is unwell since sometime, and sought the jail authorities to provide him immediate medical care.

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"Rao was taken to the J J Hospital on Monday night after he felt dizzy. The hospital is conducting a few tests on him, the activist's advocate R Satyanarayan Iyer said.

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    On Monday, Rao filed two petitions in the Bombay High Court, seeking temporary bail owing to his deteriorating health and a direction to the jail authorities to produce his medical records and admit him to a state-run or private hospital.

    Raos family members on Sunday sought the jail authorities to provide him immediate medical care and claimed that when the veteran activist, who hails from Telangana, contacted them last week he was in a "delirious state and hallucinating".

    Rao has been in jail for about 22 months and had earlier approached the special NIA court, seeking bail on medical grounds and the prevailing COVID-19 situation.

    On June 26, the NIA court rejected his plea on the ground that he has been booked under stringent provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), following which he moved the high court.

    Rao and nine other activists have been arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, which was initially probed by the Pune Police and later transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in January this year.

    The case related to alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial.

    The police have also claimed the conclave was organised by people with alleged Maoist links.

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