Congress party general secretary Rahul Gandhi’s aide Nishant Patel (35) who mysteriously went missing on Monday morning was found sitting on a footpath, bruised and disoriented, by a motorcyclist in Lucknow on Tuesday.
Patel’s appearance near Buddheswar crossing was as baffling as his disappearance from a hotel in Hardoi, 110 km west of Lucknow, where he had been camping for three weeks to help with the Congress youth wing’s organisational polls.
“Nishant had a wound on the head and bruises on his hands and legs,” said Ram Prakash Gupta, a passerby. “He was barefoot and his clothes were full of dust.” Patel requested Gupta to give him a lift.
“I could not recognise him initially,” Gupta said. “I went forward to help him as one would help any ordinary person in distress, but I immediately connected the dots after he mentioned his name.”
Gupta, who had heard about Patel’s disappearance on a news channel, informed the police.
The police took Patel to the trauma centre of the Chatrapati Shahuji Maharaj Medical University hospital, where he received some stitches on the head and other basic treatment.
“Patel could not tell us how he reached here (Lucknow) and what caused the injury,” Lucknow Deputy Inspector General of Police Rajeev Krishna said.
A Congress leader, however, claimed that Patel, the son of former Gujarat minister Hasmukh Patel, was a bit disturbed before his disappearance.