Former Central Information Commissioners seek immediate release of Elgar Parishad accused | Mumbai News


MUMBAI: Two former Central Information Commissioners, Shailesh Gandhi and M Sridhar Acharyulu, have written to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, requesting the immediate release of 81-year-old Elgar Parishad accused, poet and activist, P Varavara Rao on humanitarian grounds.
They have cited lack of evidence, the Covid-19 pandemic, his recent ill health followed by admission to JJ Hospital and his family’s inability to get complete information, to request for his release.
Rao was discharged from JJ Hospital on Monday and taken back to Taloja jail. Rao fell unconscious on May 28 and was admitted to the city hospital. His plea for interim bail will be heard on Tuesday.
Citing Rao’s various ailments, the note also requested for him to be shifted to a Hyderabad hospital or permission for his family to travel across state and visit him. Alternatively, it sought videoconferencing with his family and complete disclosure of all details of his medical condition and diagnostic reports.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) questioned the recent rejection of the bail applications of Rao and his co accused, Anand Teltumbde (70), Shoma Sen (62) and Sudha Bharadwaj (58), and the sudden transfer of Gautam Navlakha (68) by the NIA from Delhi to the city. In a press release, they said that it raised significant questions about the rights of political prisoners amidst the Covid-19 pandemic. “Such denial of bail are acts of persecution committed against those who have existing medical vulnerabilities,” the press release said.
PUDR also said that the health and safety of political prisoners must be treated with the same urgency as that of other prisoners. “Amidst this unprecedented pandemic, a uniform policy is needed to ensure the survival of inmates,” the release issued by Radhika Chitkara and Vikas Kumar, secretaries, PUDR said.

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