Browsed by
Tag: Varavara Rao

Telangana govt bans Revolutionary Writers Association, 15 other orgs

Telangana govt bans Revolutionary Writers Association, 15 other orgs

Siasat / by Yunus Y Lasania

The Telangana government on Friday banned 16 organisations, including the Revolutionary Writers Association, known as Virasam, claiming that these are frontal bodies of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist), and are engaged in “tactics” that “wage war against the state”. The order was passed by chief secretary Somesh Kumar, with effect from March 30 this year.
… The Government Order also clearly states that the organisations are also being banned for demanding the release of Prof. GN Sai Baba, Rona Wilson, and writer Vara Vara Rao (who is from Virasam), who are all currently in prison with regard to the Elgar Parishad case, on allegations of conspiring to kill Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 
Read more


Also read: Andhra govt, Centre ‘collude’ to repeat Bhima Koregaon type case against rights activists (Counterview, April 2021)

Al report slams India / Excerpts: US State Dept Report Records Increasing Use of UAPA in India

Al report slams India / Excerpts: US State Dept Report Records Increasing Use of UAPA in India


Drawing by Arun Ferreira

Amnesty International report slams India

08/04/2021

Pakobserver / by News Desk

The London-based rights watchdog, Amnesty International has slammed India for its clampdown on civil liberties in Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir as well as punitive lockdown in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, use of force against the anti-CAA (Citizenship (Amendment) Act) protests, farmers’ protests and handling of Delhi riots.
… On arbitrary arrests and detentions, the Amnesty International said that seven human rights activists – Father Stan Swamy, Jyoti Raghoba Jagtap, Sagar Tatyaram Gorkhe, Ramesh Murlidhar Gaichor, Hany Babu, Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde – were arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for their alleged involvement in violence during the Bhima Koregaon celebrations near the city of Pune in 2018.
Read more

Full report: AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT 2020/21: THE STATE OF THE WORLD’S HUMAN RIGHTS (April 2021)


Excerpts: US State Dept Report Records Increasing Use of UAPA by Indian Government

05/04/2021

The Wire / by The Wire Staff

The report cites the conditions in which the incarcerations of a pregnant Safoora Zargar, and ageing activists Varavara Rao, Sudha Bharadwaj and Stan Swamy progressed.
The US state department released the 2020 human rights report last week, accompanied by renewed rhetoric of putting emphasis on human rights at the heart of American diplomacy.
From the India chapter, here are excerpts from the report on the use of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) from its section on ‘Arrest Procedures and Treatment of Detainees’.
Read more

In prison, waiting is a habit turning slowly into addiction: Varavara Rao’s older prison diaries

In prison, waiting is a habit turning slowly into addiction: Varavara Rao’s older prison diaries

Scroll.in / by Varavara Rao

An excerpt from Varavara Rao’s ‘Captive Imagination: Letters from Prison’, published in 2010.

A day without toil
A night without love
A waiting on the shores of history…

Of the four days of life for which we have begged, two are lost in hope and the rest in waiting, said Bahadur Shah Zafar. In life outside, there is action to separate the hope from the waiting. Action could, of course, lead you to more hope and more waiting. But, lost in activity, time seems to slip through your fingers, your toes, from before your very eyes. Life in prison is not like that.
Read more


Also read: FRAME UP OF INDIAN POLITICAL PRISONERS REVEALED – New Edition of COLORS OF THE CAGE by Rao’s co-accused human rights activist Arun Ferreira (Feb 2021)

The ‘Buts’ To Freedom Of Speech In India / Why Bail to Vara Vara Rao Augurs Well for Indian Democracy

The ‘Buts’ To Freedom Of Speech In India / Why Bail to Vara Vara Rao Augurs Well for Indian Democracy

The BJP’s Toolkit Is Not Working That Well

17/03/2021

The Wire / by Amit Shrivastava

Despite the BJP-RSS’s repression tactics having a terrifying and chilling effect on the right to protest, two of India’s largest movements have taken shape since 2019.
By now, it’s fairly obvious that the NDA government has a standard toolkit for dealing with what it regards as troublesome movements. The script goes like this …
The police stand on the sidelines as first propaganda and then violence is unleashed by either the Sangh parivar organisations or others. We’ve now seen this in JNU (in 2016 and again in 2020), in Bhima Koregaon, in the Republic Day incidents, and most terrible of all, in the Delhi killings of February 2020.
Read more


The ‘Buts’ To Freedom Of Speech In India

17/03/2021

Feminism India / by Guest Writer

A trembling, disillusioned father told his daughter to flee her homeland for her safety. This seems like a plot taken straight from a classic wartime story fraught with separation and grief. In reality, such was the conversation my friend had with her father following the unlawful arrests of activists. The Disha Ravi toolkit case was the last straw.
The ‘buts’ to the freedom of speech in India only seem to point to a dictatorial reality, much like that of Airstrip One in George Orwell’s 1984, where even the mere thought of protest is met with prosecution.
Read more


Why Bail to Vara Vara Rao Augurs Well for Indian Democracy

16/03/2021

NewsClick / by Ajay Gudavarthy

Collective rights cannot remain intact without a collective spirit. The Bombay High Court has shown such compassion lives on in India.
It restores faith in the judiciary and augurs well for Indian democracy that the Bombay High Court has granted bail to revolutionary poet VV Rao on medical grounds. In a sense, the current regime and VV, as he is known among friends, are on opposite ends of the political spectrum.
Read more

After release, Varavara Rao spends his time reading and recovering, say kin

After release, Varavara Rao spends his time reading and recovering, say kin


VV Rao, leaving hospital on 6th of March

The News Minute / by Balakrishna Ganeshan

Varavara Rao, who was released on conditional bail, was discharged from Nanavati Hospital on March 6.
82-year-old Varavara Rao, who lost about 20 kgs in prison, according to family members, is slowly recovering from physical weakness. Rao, accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, who was discharged from hospital on March 6, is out on interim-bail for six months considering his frail health.
Read more

VV Rao Released Finally / Free At Last: Poet Varavara Rao Released After Last Month’s Bail

VV Rao Released Finally / Free At Last: Poet Varavara Rao Released After Last Month’s Bail


VV Rao walks out of Hospital on Saturday night. Pic: Indira Jaising

Varavara Rao Released Finally

07/03/2021

By N Venugopal @ fb

Two weeks after getting bail, after going through various hassles in bail sureties, at last VV was released around midnight on Saturday from Nanavati Hospital. The final release orders reached Taloja jail around 4 pm and the jail authorities reached the hospital around 11 pm to release him.
The release comes with a number of conditions that he should not leave the jurisdiction of NIA Special Court and reside there, that he should furnish the details and contact numbers of family members staying with him, that he should attend the court trial regularly, that he should be in touch with local police station on video conferencing every fortnight, that he should not talk to media and social media about the cases against him, that he should not repeat the activities mentioned in the FIR, that he should not meet his co-accused, that he should not tamper with evidence and influence witnesses, that visitors other than near family should not gather at his residence, that this bail is for only six months and he should surrender himself to jail authorities after that, that he should surrender his passport to NIA within a week, that the violation of any of these conditions will lead to cancellation of the bail.


“Free At Last”: Poet Varavara Rao, 81, Released After Last Month’s Bail

07/03/2021

NDTV / by Divyanshu Dutta Roy

Varavara Rao, the 81-year-old poet-activist who has been in jail for over two years in the Koregaon-Bhima case, walked out of the Mumbai’s Nanavati Hospital late Saturday after being granted bail for six months by the Bombay High Court on medical grounds last month.
Read more


Free at last on medical bail; Telugu poet Varavara Rao is released from judicial custody

07/03/2021

The Leaflet / by The Leaflet

A week after he was granted medical bail by the Bombay High Court, Dr. PV Varavara Rao was set free from judicial custody late last night.
Rao, 82, was undergoing treatment at Nanavati hospital, Mumbai.
Rao is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, facing charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act’ (UAPA).
Read more


‘Free at last’: Activist Varavara Rao discharged from hospital, released on interim bail

07/03/2021

Scroll.in / by Scroll Staff

The Bombay High Court had on February 22 granted the 81-year-old activist bail on medical grounds for a period of six months.
Poet and activist Varavara Rao, who is an accused in the Bhima Koregaon case, was on Saturday released from a hospital, reported NDTV. The Bombay High Court had on February 22 granted the 81-year-old activist bail on medical grounds for a period of six months.
Read more

High Court: Accept cash surety from Varavara Rao / Activist Varavara Rao’s release delayed

High Court: Accept cash surety from Varavara Rao / Activist Varavara Rao’s release delayed

HC: Accept cash surety from Varavara Rao

06/03/2021

Times of India / by Vaibhav Ganjapure

The Nagpur bench of Bombay high court on Friday directed release of poet PV Varavara Rao on cash surety of Rs 50,000. Justice Anuja Prabhudesai directed the Gadchiroli sessions court to send his release order to Taloja Central Jail, Mumbai, by email or any other electronic mode after he furnishes the surety amount.
Read more


Activist Varavara Rao’s release delayed

04/03/2021

The Indian Express / by Express News Service

Despite the Bombay High Court granting him interim bail, ailing revolutionary poet Varavara Rao’s release would be further delayed as a court in Gadchiroli has asked his family to file deposit papers in the format that they have specified.
Read more


Bombay High Court Relaxes Bail Condition To Facilitate Varavara Rao Release On Temporary Bail

01/03/2021

Live Law / by Shrmeen Hakim

The Bombay High Court, on Monday, allowed 81-year-old Telugu poet – Dr Varavara Rao’s – plea for relaxation of his temporary bail condition and provisional release on furnishing a cash security of Rs 50,000.
A division bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitale further granted the Bhima Koregaon – Elgaar Parishad accused time till April 5, 2021 to furnish solvent sureties. The octogenarian has been under custody awaiting trial since August 28, 2018.
Read more


Bombay HC Allows Varavara Rao’s Counsel to Visit Him to Complete Bail Formalities

25/02/2021

The Wire / by pti

Rao, 82, was on Monday granted interim bail for six months by the high court on medical grounds.
The Bombay high court on Thursday permitted a counsel of poet-activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, to visit him in the Nanavati Hospital here to obtain his signatures for completion of his bail formalities.
Read more


Varavara Rao’s kin seek relief from ‘difficult’ bail conditions set by Bombay HC

23/02/2021

The News Minute / by TNM Staff

The 81-year-old poet has been ordered to stay within the jurisdiction of the Mumbai NIA court.
Relatives of ailing revolutionary poet and activist Varavara Rao welcomed the Bombay High Court’s order granting interim bail to him, but said the conditions put forth by the court were difficult to be met. On Monday, the Bombay HC granted bail on medical grounds to the Telugu poet jailed in connection with the Bhima Koregaon Elgar Parishad case for six months. At the end of the six-month period, the court said that Varavara Rao must report back to Navi Mumbai’s Taloja jail, where he can either surrender or seek an extension.
Read more


Can’t afford Mumbai rent, says Varavara Rao’s family on court’s bail condition

22/02/2021

Hindustan Times / by Srinivasa Rao Apparasu

Varavara RAo’s brother-in-law said the poet has no relatives in Mumbai who could take care of him during the bail period.
The family of octogenarian Pendyala Varavara Rao, noted revolutionary poet, is relieved that the Bombay High Court on Monday granted medical bail to him in the Bhima Koregaon violence case, but it has another worry on its hands: where to house him in Mumbai. The court order said that the poet cannot go back to Hyderabad, his home.
Read more

VV Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

VV Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

Varavara Rao’s Bail: Leading Newspapers Urge Courts to Protect the Fundamental Right to Liberty

27/02/2021

The Leaflet / by Manya Saini

Poet-Activist Varavara Rao’s extended judicial custody amid severe medical concerns has brought into question the rights of accused persons awaiting trial. Leading newspapers have pressed upon the need for judicial reform and argued that courts must come forward to protect the fundamental rights of citizens that are threatened by draconian laws like sedition and UAPA.
Read more


Justice lives: Rao and Ravi granted bail

25/02/2021

The Telegraph / by editorial board

The momentum generated by these verdicts needs to be taken forward to kindle an informed debate on judicial reform.
A fair investigation is one of the prerequisites of justice. The infirmities in two separate investigations that were exposed and castigated by the courts in two recent judgments merit attention. The Bombay High Court granted conditional bail to the poet, Varavara Rao, infirm and an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case, observing that the National Investigation Agency had kept him in custody without framing charges for an extended period of time.
Read more


Bail as right: On bail to Varavara Rao

22/02/2021

The Hindu / editorial

Laws, however stringent, cannot be allowed to trump basic rights.
n granting bail for six months to poet Varavara Rao in the Bhima Koregaon case on medical grounds, the Bombay High Court has affirmed the principle that even the stringent provisions of an anti-terrorism law are not invincible before a prisoner’s constitutional rights.
Read more


Statement by Pen International

23/02/2021

By Pen International


Sharper Fights Ahead – Statement in view of VV’s Interim Bail

22/02/2021

By Release the Poet Committee

People’s Poet Varavara Rao’s interim (medical) bail granted by Mumbai High Court is a small but vital breakthrough, which was long overdue, is indeed an outcome of people’s rejection of state atrocities – but leaves no space for any self-satisfaction for them, who are unceasingly fighting in defense of VV and other victims of Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case.
Read more


Varavara Rao’s bail: Hope for other accused

22/02/2021

The Times of India / by Shruti Ganapatye

With the Bombay high court granting bail to ailing activist Varavara Rao in the Bhima-Koregaon case on Monday, there is a renewed hope among other accused about similar relief coming their way.
Top lawyers, some of them representing the accused in the case, said though bail is difficult to secure in Unlawful Activitities Prevention Act (UAPA) cases, Rao’s case, where bail was granted on health grounds, has set a precedent.
Read more


Video: VV Rao – Poet, Activist, Political Prisoner

22/02/2021


en | 5:54 | 2021

By Karwan e Mohabbat

Varavara Rao is no stranger to being imprisoned, but the 82-year-old is also the conscience of our society-an intellectual we need to protect from the excesses of a state determined to destroy dissent.
Watch video

Telugu, Wheelchair & Blanket: How Varavara Rao slipped into dementia during his time in prison

Telugu, Wheelchair & Blanket: How Varavara Rao slipped into dementia during his time in prison

The Quint / by Nikhila Henry

The octogenarian slipped into dementia during his time in prison, thereafter believing that his wife was dead.
Varavara Rao was incoherent on the phone. The president of Viplava Rachayitala Sagham (Revolutionary Writers’ Forum) spoke in Hindi instead of Telugu, his mother tongue, in which he has penned many poems.
“Her body was taken to the mortuary. Many people visited,” Rao said.
P Hemalatha, his wife, patiently listened to him during the five-minute-long phone call in June 2020 from Taloja Central Prison, Maharashtra, even as she was unsure of what he meant.
Read more


Video: VV Rao – Poet, Activist, Political Prisoner

22/02/2021


en | 5:54 | 2021

By Karwan e Mohabbat

Varavara Rao is no stranger to being imprisoned, but the 82-year-old is also the conscience of our society-an intellectual we need to protect from the excesses of a state determined to destroy dissent.
Watch video

Varavara Rao granted interim bail in Surajgar arson case [read order]

Varavara Rao granted interim bail in Surajgar arson case [read order]

Sabrangindia / by Sabrangindia

Rao’s lawyers cited Bombay High Court’s judgement granting bail on medical grounds while securing bail in this case.
The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court has granted temporary bail to 82-year-old Telugu poet Varavara Rao for 4 weeks, following the Principal bench order granting him bail on medical grounds.
Read more