Don’t Kill Varavara Rao in Jail! – Family Members and Civil society Urges

Rao's family wrote in the letter that the government has no right to deny the Right to Life to any person, much less an undertrial prisoner.

Varavara Rao

Family members of the world-renowned Telugu Poet and Public Intellectual Varavara Rao have informed through a press note that they were very worried about his health. Varavara Rao is presently incarcerated in Navi Mumbai’s Taloja Jail and his health has been worsening over the last six weeks now ever since he was shifted in an unconscious state to JJ Hospital on 28th May 2020. Though was discharged from the hospital three days later, there has been no improvement in his health and still is in need of emergency healthcare.

On Saturday evening’s routine call to his family had led his family to immense worry about his health as he did not answer straightly the questions around his health but spoke in a much-hallucinated sense about his parents’ funeral that had happened at least 40 years ago. Then, his co-accused prisoner took the phone from Varavara Rao to inform his family that he was to even do his own tasks. VV Rao could barely walk, go to the toilet or brush his teeth by himself and was hallucinating that his family members and his aids would wait for him at the gate of the prison as he would be released told the co-prisoner. The co-prisoner also informed VV Rao’s family that he needed not just physical but also neurological medical help. Confusions, incoherence, and loss of memory are results of electrolyte imbalance and fall of Sodium, and Potassium levels could lead to brain damages which could be fatal.

The kin of Varavara Rao was deeply worried about his health as he spoke with a weak and muffled voice, incoherent speech, and made abrupt jumps to speak in Hindi on his previous phone calls on June 24th and July 2nd too. He has been an eloquent public speaker and a Telugu teacher for over four decades with an impeccable memory and this has pushed his family members and other activists to worry.

Taloja Jail Hospital is not equipped enough to handle these serious illnesses either in terms of equipment or medical help. This VV Rao’s family is demanding him to be shifted to a super specialty hospital or allow his family to care for him by providing required medical care. They have also reminded the government that he had to spend 22 months in jail on a fabricated case against him and his bail petitions even on basis of age, ill-health, and  Covid-19 vulnerability factors were rejected 5 times. His spouse P Hemalatha and daughters P Sahaja, P Anala, and P Pavana have reminded the government has no right to deny the Right to Life to any person, much less an undertrial prisoner.

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April 2024



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