People’s Union for Democratic Rights said in a statement that other vulnerable prisoners of advanced age and ailments should also be released

The Peoples Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) on Tuesday demanded that activists Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha, who surrendered before the National Investigation Agency in Mumbai and Delhi respectively on April 14 in connection with the Bhima Koregaon case, be given interim bail in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a statement, the human rights organisation said other vulnerable prisoners of advanced age and ailments should also be released.
Both Prof. Teltumbde and Mr. Navlakha were interrogated by the NIA and have been sent to judicial custody. It has come to light that one of the officers of the NIA, Mumbai, has tested positive for COVID-19 in this period, the PUDR statement read, adding that Prof. Teltumbde had tested negative for the virus.
 Prof. Teltumbdes bail application citing the pandemic and his respiratory ailment was rejected by the NIA court, it said.
We wish to reiterate that the risks to those lodged in prisons are both very real and with grave consequences. Prof. Teltumbde is 70 years and Mr. Navlakha is 67 years old. They have both voluntarily surrendered to the investigation. The investigation agency has expressed no desire for further custody for interrogation. Thus no purpose is being served by keeping them in custody at present, it said.
Earlier, PUDR had raised concerns over the potential risk to inmates posed by the coronavirus and sent representations to the government.