Frontlist | Indian author Varavara Rao ‘free at last’ after being granted bail on health grounds

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INDIAN author Varavara Rao has been released on bail for six months after being treated in hospital for a number of conditions that left him “almost on his death bed,” it was announced on Sunday.

His lawyer Indira Jaising posted a photo of him on Twitter saying he was “free at last.”

According to his bail conditions, the 81-year old must check to the local police station each day via video and he has been directed not to make any statements or speak to the press.

Mr Rao is a well-known poet and political activist. He has served numerous periods of incarceration, penning a book of prison writings, published in English as Captive Imagination.

In 2018 he was arrested and charged with inciting violence that erupted at a gathering to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle of Koregaon-Bhima between the British East India Company and the Peshwa faction of the Maratha confederacy, in which hundreds were killed.

Along with others detained at the meeting, he was accused of links to the Naxalite rebel movement, which wages war on the Indian authorities in numerous states.

He has been in hospital since November when the High Court ordered his transfer from Taloja Jail on medical grounds.

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