Counsel For Political Prisoner Varavara Rao Petitions Karnataka HC To Set Aside Warrant

Bangalore Urban District, October 27, 2021: Telugu poet and political prisoner Varavara Rao’s counsel has filed a petition before the Karnataka High Court pleading to set aside the non bailable warrant (NBW) against him by the lower court in connection with the police massacre case of 2005.

The Madhugiri Additional Session’s court had issued a non-bailable warrant against Varavara Rao in connection with the case of massacre of seven police personnel in Tumakuru district of the state.

Rao is alleged to have links with Maoists who carried out the attack on police personnel in which 8 people were killed including a civilian on February 5, 2005 at Venkatammanahalli village near Pavagada in Tumakuru district. The case was also lodged against another Telugu poet and activist Gaddar.

S. Balan, counsel for Varavara Rao, told IANS on Monday that he has filed a petition to set aside the order of the Additional Sessions court at Madhugiri. The appeal has been made on the grounds that Varavara Rao’s movement was restricted by the Mumbai High Court. “Therefore in view of the High Court order he could not appear before the court,” he stated.

On the date of hearing, an exemption application was filed that was erroneously dismissed and the NBW was issued. Therefore, this petition has been filed to set aside the order by the Madhugiri court, he said.

Meanwhile Rao was arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case. Later, he was given bail for six months on medical grounds.

The case refers to violence during an annual celebratory gathering on 1st January, 2018 at Bhima Koregaon to mark the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon. The violence and stone pelting by a crowd on the gathering resulted in the death of a 28-year old youth and injuries to five others.

The 1818 battle of Bhima Koregaon is of importance for Dalits. On 1st January, 1818, 800 troops of the East India Company’s Bombay Presidency Army with a large number of Mahars predominant among them, defeated a numerically superior force of Peshwa Baji Rao II. A victory pillar (Vijay Sthamb) was erected in Koregaon by the British, commemorating the dead soldiers.

When Varavara Rao was released in the Bhima Koregaon case, the Madhugiri court issued a body warrant. “Now he has to appear. There is a direction that he should not leave the jurisdiction of Mumbai airport. His movement was restricted by the Mumbai High Court and he could not appear following which NBW had been issued,” advocate Balan explained.

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