India

Varvara Rao gets bail in Surjagarh iron ore mine arson case

On February 23, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court granted interim bail on medical grounds to Varvara Rao, a sick poet-activist in the 2016 Surjagarh iron ore mine arson case.

Mr. Rao, 82, and lawyer Surendra Gadling were arrested by the Gadchiroli police of Maharashtra in February 2019 in connection with the case.

Justice Swapna Joshi of the HC Bench of HC granted bail to Mr. Rao on the same grounds on which the High Court Chief Bunch granted him bail in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist Link case on 22 February.

Mr. Rao, according to his lawyers, suffers from a host of illnesses including symptoms of dementia.

His lawyers Firdos Mirza and Nihal Singh Rathore said that the activist had sought bail on health and medical grounds in the case of arson in an iron ore mine in Surjagarh, Gadchiroli.

“We pointed to the court here [Nagpur] The division bench of Justices SS Shinde and Manish Pitle passed the order on Monday, granting Rao an interim bail for six months after considering his health condition. PTI.

He said that after following the order of the Division Bench, Justice Joshi granted interim bail to Mr. Rao for the same period in arson case also.

On 25 December 2016, Naxalites allegedly set fire to 80 vehicles engaged in transporting iron ore from Surjagarh mines in Ethapalli tehsil of Gadchiroli.

Mr. Rao, who is currently admitted to Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai, sought bail on medical grounds in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist link case, which is being investigated by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The case relates to allegedly provocative speeches at the ‘Elgar Parishad’ conference held in Pune on December 31, 2017, claiming that the police incited violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima War Memorial on the outskirts of western Maharashtra. Faridabad

Police have claimed that the conclave was organized by people with alleged Maoist links.

Mr. Rao is charged with a serious offense under the Strict Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in this case.

On 22 February, the Bombay High Court imposed several conditions on Mr. Rao granting him interim bail for six months, including preventing him from leaving Mumbai and establishing any contact with the co-accused in the case.

The High Court stated that after the end of the six-month period, Mr. Rao would either surrender before the special NIA court in Mumbai or file an application before the HC.

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