Rajahmundry: Kapunadu leader Mudragada Padmanabham continued his hunger strike on Saturday, the third consecutive day, in the government hospital where he was admitted to after being arrested by the police. However, Mr Padmanabham took some water from 7 pm onwards after being persuaded to do so by his family members and district officials who are worried about his deteriorating health.
Mr Padmanabham has so far resisted attempts by doctors to conduct tests to determine his blood pressure and blood sugar. Doctors maintain that his health is stable, but he has become weaker. The doctors cautioned that if the Kapu leader continues to avoid taking food further, he will suffer severe health problem and may slip into coma. The doctors plan to administer intravenous fluids forcibly if he fails to cooperate with them. Mr Padmanabham is a diabetic and suffers from hyper tension.
Earlier in the day, East Godavari district SP M. Ravi Prakash met the Kapu leader in hospital and appealed to him on behalf of the state government to accept medical treatment given his deteriorating health condition. The SP also informed him that if he accepts medical treatment, the government will seek a CBI probe into the Tuni violence. However, Mr Padmanabham turned down the offer and asked the SP to continue the ongoing inquiry and unconditionally release all those who were arrested so far by the CID.
The SP told newsmen that he would convey the demands to the state government. Meanwhile, the bandh call given by Kapu leaders in Godavari districts in protest against the state government's efforts to thwart Mr Padmanabham’s hunger strike evoked mixed response with RTC buses plying normally and several commercial establishments carrying out their business as usual. The police is learnt to have forcibly got shutters of commercial establishments opened in parts of West Godavari.