Specialist doctors have been called in to address the neurological problems faced by jailed Maoist ideologue and revolutionary writer Varavara Rao, who is being treated for COVID-19 at south Mumbai's St George Hospital. Neurologists from JJ Hospital, where he was earlier admitted, are expected to visit him later today, hospital officials said.
The 80-year-old, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, was admitted to the ICU Ward of the government-run St George Hospital last evening after doctors found he has underlying neurological problems. According to doctors, he was not responding adequately in terms of "orientation".
His breathing and other medical parameters related to coronavirus are normal, doctors said. Mr Rao's chest X-Ray and ECG reports were normal. We now plan to do a CT scan to get more clarity, they added.
Varavara Rao, who hails from Telangana, was taken to the JJ Hospital on Monday night after he complained of dizziness and was later admitted to its neurology department.
His family members, along with several writers and activists, had cited his deteriorating health condition and asked the Maharashtra government to immediately shift him to hospital for treatment. They claimed that when the veteran activist contacted them last week he was in a "delirious state and hallucinating".
The poet-activist has been in jail for about 22 months and had earlier approached the special NIA (National Investigation Agency) court, seeking bail on medical grounds and the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
On Monday, Varavara Rao filed two petitions in the Bombay High Court, seeking temporary bail owing to his ill-health and a direction to the jail authorities to produce his medical records and admit him to a state-run or private hospital.
Varavara Rao and nine other activists were arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case in 2018, which was initially probed by the Pune Police and later transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The case related to alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial.
The police have also claimed the conclave was organised by people with alleged Maoist links.
Varavara Rao, who headed "Veerasam", an association of revolutionary writers, had strongly denied the allegations. He had said that all five arrested in the case were working for the betterment of the oppressed.