Poet-activist Varavara Rao, an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, has tested positive for Covid-19, said a hospital official on Thursday.
The 80-year-old, lodged in the Taloja jail in Navi Mumbai under judicial custody, was admitted to the state-run JJ Hospital here earlier this week.
According to Dr Ranjeet Mankeshwar, dean of JJ Hospital, Rao's medical report came on Thursday and he was found to be coronavirus positive. "His treatment is going on," Mankeshwar said.
Rao was shifted to the government-run hospital in south Mumbai after he complained of giddiness.
Rao has been in jail for about 22 months and had earlier approached the special NIA court, seeking bail on medical grounds and the prevailing COVID-19 situation.
Rao and nine other activists have been arrested in the Elgar Parishad case, which was initially probed by Pune Police and later transferred to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
The case is related to alleged inflammatory speeches made at the Elgar Parishad conclave held in Pune on December 31, 2017, which the police claimed triggered violence the next day near the Koregaon-Bhima war memorial.
Congress leader P Chidambaram demanded that Rao be released immediately and admitted to a super speciality hospital. His health is a matter of grave concern, Chidambaram said.
"The condition of Shri Varavara Rao as described by his family is a matter of grave concern. It is beyond belief that the State, the police and the prison authorities can behave in such an inhuman manner under the watch of the NHRC," Chidambaram said on Twitter. "Shri Varavara Rao should be released immediately and admitted to a super speciality hospital that will treat him properly."
(With inputs from PTI)