On Friday, the bail application of Varavara Rao and Shoma Sen was rejected by a special court in Mumbai. 81-year-old Varavara Rao and 61-year-old Shoma Sen had sought bail on medical grounds. It was the second time that their bail application had been rejected.
Rao and Sen, along with 11 others, were arrested in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case. In their bail application, it was mentioned that Shoma suffers from osteoarthritis, glaucoma and high blood pressure while Varavara Rao suffers from hypertension and pre-existing condition of coronary artery disease.
Opposing the bail application, special Public Prosecutor Prakash Shetty said that since they are accused under Unlawful activities (prevention) Act (UAPA), they are excluded from being released on a temporary bail in light of the pandemic.
A few days ago, about 500 prominent personalities had sent an open letter to the Central government, demanding the immediate release on bail of activists. Asking for the release of the 11 activists among many others, the letter stated, “in the prisons of Maharashtra where they are being detained, some inmates have died and many others have tested positive for COVID-19”.
Varavara Rao had to be admitted in a hospital on May 27, after he complained of dizziness and fainted. Their bail applications also highlighted that due to their pre-existing medical conditions, they are highly vulnerable to the corona virus.