Family members of poet Varavara Rao, accused in the Elgar Parishad case, have moved the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) seeking a direction to a Mumbai hospital, where he is being treated for COVID-19, and prison authorities to provide "transparent" updates on his health status.
The petition filed on Friday stated that the family was compelled to approach the rights body as they were denied any information about his condition or his treatment at the
Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai.
"Today, we are compelled to write this letter to you, as we are denied any information about his condition or his treatment at the Nanavati Hospital. From the time he was shifted out of Taloja Jail to St Georges hospital to Nanavati hospital, the only official information provided to the family was that he had tested positive for the COVID-19, they said.
Denial of any information on Rao's health is a direct violation of NHRC's July 13 order, whereby it had specifically directed the prison authorities to provide all the necessary
medical care and assistance to the poet with intimation to his family members, they added.
Seeking NHRC's intervention, the family sought official updates on his health and line of treatment every six hours. Rao, 80, was undergoing treatment in Mumbai hospitals
since July 16 after being tested for coronavirus positive.
He is behind bars for about 22 months and had approached the special NIA court, seeking bail on medical grounds and the prevailing COVID-19 situation.