Congress MP Lagadapati Rajagopal's fast-unto-death in Vijayawada for unified Andhra Pradesh was broken by the police amidst high drama in the early hours of Saturday. The fast was broken on its sixth day on the grounds of Mr. Rajagopal's detoriating health.
A large number of Grey Hounds and Armed Reserve Police descended on the camp at Swaraj Maidan on the arterial Mahatma Gandhi road and picked him up despite a stiff resistance put up by the MP's supporters who were present there.
Mr. Rajagopal was bundled into a police vehicle and taken to the Government General Hospital, where he was admitted into an air-conditioned dormitary temporarily converted into a special ward. A large number of armed reserve police are keeping a watch on the premises.
Meanwhile, some Congress leaders staged a rasta roko in National Highway-5, to protest against the arrest. Many transport trucks were stranded on the highway on both sides.
A spokesperson of the MP alleged that the police "manhandled" him while shifting him to the hospital.
Expressing concern over "inadequate" facilities and non-availability of specialist at the hospital, the spokesperson demanded that Mr. Rajagopal should be shifted to the Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences, Hyderabad for better treatment.
A petition would be filed in the High Court as well as the State Human Rights Commission for the same, he said.
Actor Mohan Babu is expected to pay a visit to the city to call on Mr. Rajagopal and TDP MLA Devineni Umamaheswara Rao, who is also continuing his indefinite fast in the hospital, later in the day.