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Bhima Koregaon Case: Varavara Rao’s Bail Extended until September 25

Extending Varavara Rao’s bail, the Bombay High Court said on Monday that he does not need to surrender till September 25 in the Bhima Koregaon case, Bar and Bench reported.


The 82-year-old Telugu poet and activist, who was supposed to surrender on Sunday after his six-month interim bail on medical grounds, had filed for an extension of his bail to allow him to reside in Hyderabad with his family instead of within the Mumbai National Investigation Agency Court jurisdiction. Rao was arrested in July 2018.

In January 2018, violence broke out during an annual celebration at Bhima Koregaon, a panchayat village in Maharashtra, to mark the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Bhima Koregaon.

Rao and 15 other activists and scholars, who backed the event, were accused of having Maoist links and arrested under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. They have been awaiting trial for the past three years.

On July 5, this year, one of the accused in the case, 84-year-old Father Stan Swamy, died while in custody.

Rao, meanwhile, had tested positive for Covid-19 in July 2020 and was admitted to the state-run JJ Hospital. Since then, the 82-year-old’s health has deteriorated rapidly. He is reportedly suffering from dementia as well.

Rao’s wife had filed a bail petition on medical grounds at the Bombay High Court in November 2020, after the Supreme Court told high courts to exercise their jurisdiction to uphold personal liberty during the hearing of Republic TV chief editor Arnab Goswami’s bail plea.

However, her plea was rejected and instead, the court ordered a panel of doctors from Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital to examine Rao over video call and visit him physically at the jail, if necessary.


Rao was then shifted to Nanavati Hospital for 15 days by the court’s order and his family was permitted to visit him, according to the hospital protocols. The High Court also asked Rao to pay a cash surety of Rs 50,000 and two solvent sureties of a like amount.

After extending his stay at the hospital twice, in February this year, the court finally granted him bail of six months, after which he was supposed to either surrender or apply for an extension.

On March 6, Rao was discharged from Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital and was allowed to go home to his family in Hyderabad.