The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has summoned poet Varavara Rao’s sons-in-law, K. Satyanarayana and KV Kurmanath, asking them to appear before it on 9 September.
K. Satyanarayana is a professor at the department of cultural studies at The English and Foreign Languages University in Hyderabad while KV Kurmanath is a senior journalist.
In a letter to friends, professor Satyanarayana, the husband of Rao’s youngest daughter Pavana had called the summons "distressing news". He recalled how his flat had been raided in August 2018 by the Pune Police in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case. The NIA had later taken over from the Pune Police.
He said the 2018 raid was under the pretext of collecting evidence against his father-in-law and that he had stated then that he is in no way connected with the case. “The fact of Varavara Rao being my father-in-law was used to raid my house and cause mental agony,” he said.
“I thought it was all over,” he added, reiterating that while he is related to Rao, he was in no way connected to the case.
“NIA adds to our family’s distress at a time when Varavara Rao’s health condition is not very good and the pandemic is fast spreading in Mumbai. I am travelling to Mumbai in these terrible times. I need your support and best wishes,” he said.
Varavara Rao’s nephew N. Venugopal took to social media after the development. He said that while the family is under constant harassment with Rao’s arrest, incarceration without trial, denial of bail, criminal negligence on providing better medical care, now would seem that the state wanted to cause additional distress to the family.
He too recalled the earlier raids, adding that these had been on the pretext that Rao may be at his daughter’s homes, even as the police had already been to Rao’s home and found him there. The raids had been unnecessary, he said.
An NIA spokesperson said that it was an on-going investigation and that they preferred not to comment any further.