PUNE Updated: Dec 04, 2019 20:39 IST

Shalaka Shinde

Varavara Rao, 82, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, has been hospitalised on Wednesday when he was scheduled for a hearing in the case.

The Telugu poet, a native of Karnataka, was been shifted to the Sassoon General Hospital before the hearing could begin.

As per protocol, the accused are brought to a lock-up at the Shivajinagar district court premises and then brought to the specific court they are scheduled to appear in.

“He was brought in on Wednesday afternoon for abdomen pain and excessive sweating. Our team tells me that he is in the casualty ward and is stable,” said Dr Ajay Taware, medical superintendent of Sassoon General Hospital.

Around Wednesday evening, Dr Taware added, “Tests like the electrocardiogram (ECG), sonogrpahy and blood pressure were conducted on him. All test reports came back normal, and then, he was discharged.”

The octagenarian accused of being a close aide of members of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), an organisation banned under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), has been lodged in the Yerawada Central Jail since his arrest in August 2018. He had complained of stomach ache and sweating  after dinner that was served in jail on Tuesday.

“He had complained of excessive sweating and stomach ache. He was taken to the hospital there and an ECG was done. The doctors there said that his heart has become weak,” said a lawyer from the team representing him.

Four of Rao’s relatives, including Telugu journalist and Rao’s nephew Venugopal, had come to the court and asked the police for permission to meet him. They were asked by the jail police to seek permission from additional sessions judge S Navandar who is hearing the case.

Venugopal made an application in the court to be allowed to meet Rao in the hospital. District government pleader (DGP) and public prosecutor in the case Ujjwala Pawar, objected in consultation with Shivaji Pawar, assistant commissioner of police, who is investigating the case.

“These people are in the habit of using code words. That is our main apprehension and this man is not a blood relative of the accused,” said DGP Pawar. 

However, the judge allowed Venugopal to meet Rao in presence of a police personnel who will record the audio of the conversation between them. The meet, allowed only on medical ground, was scheduled between 5-6pm on Wednesday.

While Rao did not appear, the other accused in the case including Rona Wilson, Mahesh Raut, Surendra Gadling, Arun Ferriera, Vernon Gonsalves, Shoma Sen, Sudha Bhardwaj, and Sudhir Dhawale, appeared before the court.