Families of Elgar Parishad accused write to CM Uddhav Thackeray, seek bail for arrested

The letter said that the families have minimal knowledge about the health and well-being of the arrested. The women accused are in Byculla jail, while the men are in Taloja central prison in Navi Mumbai.

The family members of the 15 arrested in the Elgar Parishad case have written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, seeking their release on interim bail, citing their health conditions and the spread of Covid-19 in jails.

The letter said that the families have minimal knowledge about the health and well-being of the arrested. The women accused are in Byculla jail, while the men are in Taloja central prison in Navi Mumbai. The letter refers to the cases of Covid-19 detected among inmates and staffers in both the jails.

“…we are increasingly worried about the medical assistance that would be available to the prison inmates should they contract the deadly disease. Many of the undertrial detainees are over 60 years, with co-morbidities and are susceptible to rapid deterioration of health in the event of COVID-19 infection,” the letter stated.

It added that only four of them – Gautam Navlakha, Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Shoma Sen – received their first dose of vaccine in the last week of April.

The letter also said that some of the accused already have ongoing health concerns – Father Stan Swamy (84) suffers from Parkinson’s disease and Anand Teltumbde (72) has asthma. It also said that others have co-morbidities and Jyoti Jagtap had also tested positive for Covid-19.

The letter has been signed by the family members and friends of Gonsalves, Swamy, Navlakha, Bharadwaj, Sen, Teltumbde, Jagtap, Hany Babu, Arun Ferreira, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson, Sudhir Dhawale, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor.

While 16 were arrested by the Pune Police and the National Investigation Agency, which took over the probe from it, only one – Varavara Rao – has been allowed interim bail so far.

Swamy’s plea for interim bail on medical grounds is pending before the Bombay High Court. Teltumbde’s bail before the special court has been adjourned to May 25.

Hany Babu taken to JJ Hospital

Delhi University’s Associate Professor Hany Babu, who was suffering from a swelling in one of his eyes, was taken to state-run JJ Hospital on Wednesday. Babu had complained of swelling in his left eye and loss of vision. While he was taken to a hospital in Vashi on May 7 as the Taloja jail, where he is lodged does not have a specialist, his family members said he was not taken for a follow-up on Tuesday even though he required immediate medical attention.

An official said Babu was taken to JJ Hospital and was checked by a specialist. Since the reason for the swelling could not be narrowed down to fungal infection, other tests were done to determine the cause.

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