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Rao gets bail in Surjagarh iron ore mine arson case

Rao gets bail in Surjagarh iron ore mine arson case

Nagpur: The Nagpur bench of Bombay HighCourt on Tuesday granted interim bail on medical grounds to ailing poet-activist Varavara Rao in connection with a 2016 Surjagarh iron ore mine arson case.

Rao, 82, and advocate SurendraGadling were arrested by the Gadchiroli police in Maharashtra in February 2019 in connection with

the case.

Justice Swapna Joshi of the HC's Nagpur bench granted bail to Rao on similar grounds on which the principal bench of the high court on Monday granted bail to him in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case.

Rao suffers from a host of ailments, including symptoms of dementia, as per his lawyers.

His advocates Firdos Mirza and NihalsinghRathod said the activist had sought bail on health and medical grounds and not on merits of the case pertaining to arson at the iron ore mine at Surjagarh in Gadchiroli.

"We pointed out to the court here (Nagpur) the order passed by the division bench of Justices S SShinde and Manish Pitale on Monday, granting Rao interim bail for six months after considering his health condition," Mirza told the news agency.

Justice Joshi, after perusing the order of the division bench, granted interim bail to Rao for the same period in the arson case too, he said.

On December 25, 2016, Naxals allegedly set ablaze least 80 vehicles engaged in transporting iron ore from Surjagarh mines in Etapalli tehsil of Gadchiroli.

Rao, who is currently admitted in the Nanavati Hospital in Mumbai, had sought bail on medical grounds in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, which is being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

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