Lalu has spent more time in hospital than in jail

Lalu has spent more time in hospital than in jail

File picture of RJD chief Lalu Prasad. Photo credit: PTI

It’s 19 months since RJD chief Lalu Prasad was convicted and jailed in one of the fodder scam cases in December 2017. Out of these 19 months, the former Bihar Chief Minister has been in the Ranchi’s Hotwar Jail for two months, while cooling his heels in a Ranchi hospital for nearly 17 months.

Lalu, who is suffering from chronic diseases, is undergoing treatment at Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi. He has been granted bail in one of the fodder scam cases, but still is not a free bird as he has to secure bail in two other cases as well.

The RJD chief, who is at present admitted in the paying ward of RIMS, is being guarded by a battery of 42 cops in a phase-wise manner. The Inspector General (Prisons), Virendra Bhushan, said that the hospital administration sends a report every month about the health condition of Lalu Prasad. “So far, none of the reports have so far mentioned that he is fit to be shifted to jail. Once we get a positive report about his health condition, he will be immediately shifted to the prison,” the IG said.

The doctors attending Lalu, however, argue that Lalu is Type-2 diabetes and hypertension patient. “Lalu is suffering from not less than 15 diseases. But we are more concerned about his uncontrolled diabetes with high dependence on insulin,” said Dr DK Jha, who is supervising Lalu’s health in RIMS.

Soon after Lalu was convicted and imprisoned in Ranchi’s Hotwar jail, he was found to be suffering from hypertension, chronic kidney disease and hypertrophy of the prostate. Earlier, he was operated upon for aortic valve replacement, closure of the patent foramen ovale (hole in the heart) and autoplasty. Later, a surgery related to fistulectomy was also done.

In 2018, he was granted conditional bail for treatment in Mumbai and then in AIIMS, New Delhi. But once the AIIMS certified that he could be transferred to Ranchi, he was shifted to the Jharkhand Capital. The former Bihar CM was granted bail in May last year to attend his son Tej Pratap’s wedding. In August 2018, he was, however, shifted to RIMS again, where he has been languishing since then.