Mumbai court allows Elgar case accused Varavara Rao to travel to Hyderabad for eye surgery

Varavara Rao was allowed to travel to Hyderabad in October for surgery on one eye. The other eye will be treated this time.


Published Nov 30, 2023 | 9:02 AMUpdated Nov 30, 2023 | 9:03 AM

Mumbai court allows Elgar case accused Varavara Rao to travel to Hyderabad for eye surgery

A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court in Mumbai has allowed Telugu poet and activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the 2018 Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, to travel to Hyderabad to undergo cataract surgery.

Judge Rajesh Katariya on Wednesday, 29 November, permitted 82-year-old Varavara Rao to travel to the Telangana capital between 5 and 11 December for his left eye surgery.

He has to report to the NIA on 4 December and furnish details of his journey and the address and contact number of the place where he would be staying in Hyderabad, the court said.

The court also warned the activist not to misuse the liberty granted to him.

Related: Supreme Court grants bail to Telugu poet-activist Varavara Rao

Why was Rao arrested?

Rao was arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links or Koregaon Bhima case in 2018 and granted temporary bail on medical grounds in March 2021 by the Bombay High Court.

In August 2022, the Supreme Court granted him regular bail on medical grounds.

One of the conditions in the bail order was that Rao shall not leave the jurisdiction of the special NIA Court in Mumbai without the court’s permission.

Last month, the high court allowed Rao to travel to Hyderabad for a week to undergo cataract surgery on the right eye.

A division bench headed by Justice AS Gadkari had said that once he returned, he could approach the trial court seeking permission to travel again for surgery on the other eye.

Rao and many other Left-leaning activists have been booked in connection with alleged provocative speeches delivered at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on 31 December, 2017.

The Pune police claimed the conclave was backed by Maoists, and the speeches made there triggered violence near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial in Pune district the next day.

The NIA later took over the probe into the case.