Fifteen hours after he dodged a heavy posse of police and escaped from a government hospital in Vijayawada on Sunday night, Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal surfaced in the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) under equally dramatic circumstances on Monday afternoon.
Dressed in dark trousers and a pullover, Mr. Rajagopal entered the government-run super-speciality hospital from the rear gate as dozens of policemen and a large media contingent were waiting for him at the main entrance. He managed to escape everyone’s attention by travelling to NIMS in an auto-rickshaw and running into the hospital where he was admitted.
Earlier, concerned over his escape, Chief Minister K. Rosaiah summoned all Ministers available in the city to attend an informal Cabinet meeting where the likely repercussions of Mr. Rajagopal's arrest were discussed. Five police officials of Vijayawada, including an Assistant Commissioner, were placed under suspension by the Director General of Police, R.R. Girish Kumar, for negligence.
Mr. Rajagopal's sudden arrival in Hyderabad belied earlier expectations of the police that he may land up in Visakhapatnam and address the agitating students. A large contingent of police was posted in the Andhra University campus anticipating his arrival.