NIA tribunal rejects Varavara Rao’s appeal for eye surgery in Hyderabad

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A National Investigation Agency (NIA) special court in Mumbai on Friday rejected the plea of ​​poet-activist Varavara Rao, accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, seeking permission to travel to Hyderabad to a cataract operation.

The Supreme Court had in August granted the 82-year-old activist medical bail, with the terms of his bail set by the special NIA court presiding over the case. Among the bail conditions set for Rao, who was arrested on August 28, 2018 at his Hyderabad residence in the case, was that he would reside within the boundaries of Greater Mumbai and would not leave the city without prior permission of the NIA court.

On Friday, Rao applied for permission to travel to Hyderabad for three months for cataract surgery and post-surgery care formalities. According to his claim, the poet-activist has cataracts in both eyes and the condition requires surgery and treatment. The plea was rejected by Special Judge RN Rokade.

Read also | ‘Very serious’ offense says NIA special court while denying Gautam Navlakha bail

Meanwhile, another defendant, Mahesh Raut, has also filed a request for medical treatment. The court ordered the prison superintendent to provide necessary medical aid and to refer the accused to a public hospital if necessary. The court also received a letter from Taloja Central Jail in neighboring Navi Mumbai regarding the misconduct of defendant Sagar Gorkhe.

The case concerns alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which police say sparked violence the following day near the Koregaon Bhima war memorial on the outskirts of the western city of Maharashtra.

Pune Police had claimed that the conclave was organized by people with links to the Maoists and filed a complaint on January 8, 2018 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) then took over the investigation into the case.

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