Varavara Rao’s family demands ‘transparent’ health updates

Deccan Chronicle.  | Shahab Ansari

Nation, Current Affairs

Not sharing health updates of a person in judicial custody with his family is illegal, unconstitutional and inhuman, the family said.

Jailed poet and activist P Varavara Rao. (DC photo)

Mumbai: Disturbed with not receiving any official communication on health of 81-year-old poet Varavara Rao who is in judicial custody, his wife and daughters have demanded that the family should be given regular, transparent and official updates on Rao’s health.

In a media communication issued on Monday, the family has claimed that not sharing health updates of a person in judicial custody with his family is “illegal, unconstitutional and inhuman”.

According to the family, the only update on Rao’s health they received officially was that he has been tested positive for Coronavirus. Rest all other information they are receiving through secondary sources.

“The information of shifting him to Nanavati Hospital and worrying news of health status and deterioration for the last two days, including Nanavati finding a head injury, was known to family through friends in media and civil society only," read the statement issued by the family. It also read, “In the absence of official and transparent information, various speculations, rumours and half truths are also being spread causing further anxiety to family and friends.”

Rao’s family members also said that they were “highly perturbed and worried” with the news of his head injury. “It is the family’s right to get official transparent updates on his health status, line of treatment and probable risks, but the concerned prison, police and health administrations in a gross dereliction of their duties have not come out to family with the much needed information,” they said.

Considering the situation, wife P. Hemlata and daughters P Sahaja, P  Anala, P Pavana have demanded that a family member must be allowed to attend to Rao because he is unable to do anything on his own; to provide family members with a point-of-contact in the hospital; to make medical records accessible.

The family also demanded that the Maharashtra government must “enable the judicial process to grant regular bail or interim bail on health, age and COVID-19 grounds so that his family will take care of his health in a hospital of their choice.”

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