Nagpur, Feb 23: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted interim bail to P Varavara Rao on medical grounds in connection with a 2016 case of arson at an iron ore mine in Maharashtra's Surjagarh.
Rao and Surendra Gadling were sent to Yerawada Jail in the year 2019 after their 11-day police custody in connection with the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) case in which some 80 vehicles transporting iron ore from the Surjagarh mines in Gadchiroli were allegedly set on fire by Naxals. The incident took place on December 25, 2016.
Justice Swapna Joshi of the high court's Nagpur bench granted bail to Rao on health grounds.
A principal bench of the Bombay High Court on Monday had granted bail to the activist-poet on similar medical grounds in the Bhima-Koregaon case.
Rao has been at a private hospital in Mumbai since November 2020 when he was shifted after his health deteriorated in jail where he was lodged as an undertrial.
He was arrested in 2018 in connection to the Bhima Koregaon case registered in Pune and has been in jail since then. Last year, Rao contracted coronavirus and was admitted to JJ Hospital in Mumbai.
He has been granted bail in Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case on certain conditions, including that he has to remain in Mumbai and should be available for investigation. He is not allowed to talk to witnesses or interfere in the investigation process.
Rao was arrested in November 2018 along with five others, for alleged links with Naxals and for allegedly making provocative speeches on December 31, 2017 that police claimed incited the violence at Bhima Koregaon village in Pune district the next day.