Fasting Andhra MP disappears from hospital

Fasting Andhra MP disappears from hospital

Congress MP L. Rajagopal

The Vijayawada MP disappeared on Sunday night by giving the slip to 200 policemen deployed around the Government General Hospital. He had been on an indefinite fast for six days  against the proposed division of Andhra Pradesh.

Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy here said the MP had not yet been found. Chief Minister K. Rosaiah held a high-level meeting on the incident.

Taking a serious note of the incident, the home minister directed Director General of Police Girish Kumar to take action against the police officials for dereliction of duty.
Police continued to search for the MP in and around Vijayawada and on the roads leading to Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad and other towns.

Police said the MP walked out of the hospital with some followers and disappeared while the hospital staff were making arrangements to shift him to a private hospital.

Witnesses said the MP, who was holding a national flag in his hand, came out of the hospital at 10.10 p.m. with his friend and driver and sped away in a Qualis even before policemen deployed there could understand anything.

Four other vehicles of Rajagopal's supporters were following the Qualis carrying him but they vanished before the police could react.

Security has been stepped up at the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) here to foil any attempt by Rajagopal to get himself admitted here. Fearing law and order problems, the government had already turned down his demand to be shifted from Vijayawada to NIMS.

It was at NIMS that Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao was admitted during his 'fast unto death', demanding the formation of a Telangana state.
Police suspect the MP might surface in Hyderabad to continue his fast as he was arrested twice and sent back to Vijayawada Dec 15.

The MP, who launched the indefinite fast the same day in Vijayawada, was forcibly shifted to the hospital early Saturday from the hunger strike camp. He was also booked by the police for a suicide attempt.

The family members of industrialist-MP blamed the authorities for the incident. They said the MP was upset over being denied better treatment facilities and had even written  to Governor N.D. Tiwari that he was not being shifted to NIMS despite orders by the State Human Rights Commission.

Rajagopal was unhappy with the central government for not withdrawing its statement on the proposal to form a separate Telangana state.

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