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India: Appeal from Daughters of Varvara Rao the Celebrated Progressive Poet from Andhra held at Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai, Seeking His Release | 26 May 2020

27 May

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via Facebook, 26 May 2020

Following is an appeal of Varavara Rao’s daughters to
The Governor, Maharashtra,
The Chief Justice, High Court of Maharashtra,
The Chief Minister of Maharashtra,

Save our father Varavara Rao

Release him immediately

We, P Sahaja, P Anala, P Pavana, daughters of the famous revolutionary poet P Varavara Rao, who is incarcerated in Maharashtra jails (in Yerawada, Pune jail till February 2020 and in Taloja, Navi Mumbai jail since then) in a fabricated case, are perturbed to see the news that a prisoner died in Taloja jail due to Covid-19, as admitted by the government in a PIL case in Mumbai High Court yesterday.

Our father is aged 80 and ailing with multiple health issues and highly vulnerable to be affected by Corona virus. During the last eight weeks of lockdown, we were not allowed to visit him in jail and even the usual correspondence was also disallowed. The lawyers were also not permitted to visit him. We have been extremely anxious to find out his wellbeing and during these eight weeks, he was allowed to make phone calls for three times to speak to our mother, who is also ailing and 70 plus. Even the phone conversation was allowed only for two minutes. He is only an Under-Trail prisoner now and even earlier he was acquitted as not guilty all the 25 cases in the last 47 years. As an under-trial prisoner, his right to life, guaranteed by Art 21 cannot be put to risk.

We read about the death of a prisoner and spread of Covid-19 in Taloja jail. We asked our advocate Ms Padma K to call the Taloja jail authorities to enquire the health condition of our father Varavara Rao. When the advocate called, the staff of the Taloja jail picked up the phone but did not respond. We are very worried and anxious about our father’s well-being.
In these dire circumstances of extreme worry, anxiety and helplessness, we would like to request you to kindly look into the matter and initiate proceedings to

i. Release Varavara Rao granting temporary bail or parole, on the grounds of age, health and covid-19 spread, or
ii. Allow family members to visit him in jail to assure themselves personally of his safety and wellbeing.
iii. Allow him more frequent phone calls and letters to the family.
iv. Allow advocates to meet our father in jail.

Thanking you.

Sincerely,

P Sahaja, P Anala, P Pavana
(Daughters of Varavara Rao)