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Bhima Koregaon Case: Varavara Rao’s Bail Extended till December 2

The Bombay High Court has extended the interim bail of Varavara Rao, activist and co-accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, till December 2. This is an extension to his six-month interim bail that was granted in February.


The court has also ordered Nanavati Hospital to examine Rao afresh since the 81-year-old Telugu poet was recently admitted to the hospital between November 6 and 16.

Rao and 15 other activists and scholars, who backed an annual celebration at Bhima Koregaon village in Maharashtra in January 2018 to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon, were arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act after violence broke out at the gathering. Accused of having Maoist links, they have been awaiting trial for the last three years.

Rao was first arrested in August 2018 and was later kept under house arrest. He was taken into custody again in November of the same year.

The poet tested positive for Covid-19 in July 2020 and was admitted to the State-run JJ Hospital. Since then, his health has deteriorated rapidly. He has been suffering from dementia as well.

On grounds of medical concern, his wife had filed a bail petition at the Bombay High Court and he was granted interim bail of six months in February.

Rao, who was supposed to surrender at the end of this bail term, had filed for an extension of his bail and also sought permission to reside in Hyderabad with his family. The Bombay High Court extended his bail till September 25.

Later, another interim order had given him time to surrender till October 14. After this, Rao once again sought an extension on grounds of ill health and his bail was extended to October 26. On this day, the court had ruled that Rao need not surrender until November 18.


Now, his bail has been extended till December 2.

Rao had also appealed once again for permission to move to his hometown in Hyderabad. In his petition, he mentioned that due to arterial blockages in the brain, he suffers from a neurological condition called lacunar infarcts, and has other pre-existing neurological issues as well.

However, arguing that the poet should restrict his plea to the extension of his medical bail, the counsel for the National Investigation Agency said that Rao must file a separate petition to seek other reliefs such as permission to shift to his hometown while on medical bail.

The court will next hear the case on November 29.