Nayeem’s Associates Come Home To Roost

Hyderabad: The Special Investigation Team (SIT) probing the atrocities committed by slain gangster Nayeemuddin, alias Nayeem, was asked on Tuesday by Hyderabad High Court to submit a status report on the results achieved so far.

The HC bench consisting of acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice A Sankar had taken up for hearing the writ petition filed by CPI national secretary K Narayana who pleaded that the case in which a number of criminals, politicians and police officers were involved be entrusted to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

Narayana has alleged that politicians who were in power since 1996 were involved in the crimes committed by the Maoist-turned-mafia don Nayeem who enjoyed political patronage and police protection.  Nowhere in the country do we find this kind of unholy alliance, he commented.

By now, it is clear that about 150 acres of land in Bommaipally village of Bhongir mandal of erstwhile Nalgonda district (Bhongir  became a district on its own after the reorganization of the old districts) were occupied by Nayeem gang and they were registered in pieces in the names of Nayeem’s relatives, followers, politicians and police officers.

A report containing the details of the depositions by the witnesses, who revealed names of a number of police officials and politicians, was submitted to Bhongir court about a month ago.  The 156-page ‘remand note’ submitted to the court is needed to take the persons in question into custody in order to question them.

Besides politicians like Neti Vidyasagar Rao, Vice Chairman of Telangana State Legislative Council, TRS leader Chintala Venkateswara Reddy, police officers like DSP Maddileti Srinivasa Rao and inspectors like Boora Rajagopal, Mastal Vali , Gandikota Venkaiah, Sai Manohar, Malineni Srinivasa Rao were evidently involved in the Nayeem’s  underworld.

SIT officers had recovered a number of documents, videos and diaries from the dens of the gangster. In one of the videos, a police officer whose name was mentioned by the witnesses was seen indulging in unlawful activities. The police are examining the video. The police sources said this particular video clip was recovered during the searches at Nayeem’s house at Narsingi in Hyderabad after he was killed on 8th August 2016. The police top brass is placed in a tight spot since they are forced to act against the officers who were closely working with them till today. All the officers named by Assistant Sub-Inspector of Police Mohan Reddy of Karimnagar have been transferred. 

Mohan Reddy was arrested on charges that he drove a school owner to suicide. After Mohan Reddy was arrested, the police bosses were flooded with complaints that Reddy had illegally occupied a number of lands in many districts. It appears that many colleagues of Mohan Reddy had deposited their money for better returns, at an interest rate that is much higher than that offered by banks. All such officers whose names were mentioned by Mohan Reddy during interrogation have been transferred.

Now, the question being asked by inquisitive people who have got an idea of Nayeem’s dark deeds is, whether or not the police officers whose names were mentioned in the note the SIT had submitted in Bhongir court would be taken to task. The names were given out by the witnesses during questioning.

 The curiosity is more since some of the officers whose names figured in the investigations are in key positions. They could influence the witnesses forcing them not to divulge names of some more officers. There have been instances of politicians who were closely associated with Nayeem persuading the witnesses by offering money not to reveal their names. Some of the victims who went to the courts were being asked to withdraw the cases.

The SIT officials did not think it proper to brief the media on the progress of the investigation so far. They seem to be working under the instructions of the government and they see no need to take the people into confidence. The allegations made by independent observers and Left parties are against the TRS government.  They contend that the Telangana government is trying to shield some politicians and officers and blackmail some others. They accuse the government in general, and Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in particular, of trying to settle political scores and to achieve political goals using the SIT as a tool.  The allegations may stick in the absence of information from the SIT. The SIT officers are yet to inform the people whether they examined the police officers, whose names figured in the statements made by the witnesses, or not.

Since the High Court has asked the Telangana State government and the Home Ministry to file a counter with all the details, public can expect some authentic information. The details so far known are based on leaks and guess work.

The HC bench has adjourned hearing on Narayana’s writ petition by three weeks saying that it would decide on the petitioner’s plea to transfer the case to CBI after examining the counter filed by the government.  The judges commented that it cannot be construed that the probe has not been going on properly just because the details of investigations have not been revealed by the police officers. The judges said they would decide after going into the counter.

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