"We cordoned off the area and waited. It emerged some hours later and jumped, injuring a police inspector," Singh said. The animal leaped over the roofs of single-storied homes and disappeared.
Since then groups of wildlife officials wearing helmets and carrying tranquilizer guns and volunteers armed with sticks have been searching a wide swathe around the hospital.
At one point, forestry officials closed in on the leopard in a warehouse, but it leaped through a concrete grill, breaking it and escaping.
"It's a fully grown male ... a big animal with enormous strength, which is what has panicked residents," Singh said.
"We were afraid to go out of the house. There was a lot of panic and fear," homemaker Pooja Mahajan said Tuesday. "But no one has spotted the leopard since yesterday, so today things are back to normal."
Singh said schools and colleges reopened Tuesday.
Wildlife officials were on alert but it was likely the animal had fled to nearby forests, he said.
Leopards are protected in India, though more are straying into cities and villages to search for food as their habitats shrink.
Meerut, a bustling commercial city in Uttar Pradesh state, is about 70 kilometers (40 miles) northeast of the Indian capital, New Delhi.
In another part of Uttar Pradesh, a female tiger has killed nine people, most of them poor villagers and farm laborers living on the fringes of a wildlife reserve park.
Forest officials roped in wildlife hunters to track down the tiger but gave up after nearly two weeks of a futile search.