Sunday, September 19, 2021

Brave Father and a Humane Daughter

Father Krishna Prasad, daughter Deepti

In service of the nation

Late Krishna Prasad (1950-92), Addl. SP who dared ISI terrorists in 1992 and fell to bullets. His wife Janaki died on 4thMay, 2021 due to covid 19 while daughter Deepti (1981-2021) succumbed to post covid complications within fortnight.

Martyrdom of Krishnaprasad

It was on November 29, 1992, at Tolichowki in Hyderabad, Additional Superintendent of Police G Krishna Prasad (1950-92) was shot dead along with his gunman Venkateswar Rao by ISI sponsored terrorist module. He had gone to search a house following inputs about some terrorists hiding in a house at Brindavan Colony in Tolichowki area of Hyderabad.

He was not furnished with information that ISI sponsored terrorists were armed with automatic rifles like Kalashnikovs. Also Read – Hyderabad: Rich tributes paid to 1971 war martyrs He knocked at the door, when two unsuspecting girls opened the door and tried to prevent Krishna Prasad from making his way into the house. And suddenly terrorists opened fire with automatic rifle killing him and his gunman. But even while receiving bullets, courageously opened fire from his service pistol in reply to the gunfire from AK 56 rifle. That great valour did not go in vain. The girls, who received some bullet wounds were caught as they approached a hospital for treatment.

Subsequent interrogation revealed the terror module and that led to arrest of Mujib and encounter of another killer. Most important rule of war is “to know the enemy is half the victory.” And not knowing is complete defeat. No victory or defence can be devised or pursued without knowing whom one is fighting. Failure of intelligence is more disastrous than an ISI human suicide bomb. If the State does not know that terrorists are camping in its capital, and ignorant of their AK 56, its brave officers shall be martyrs. The tragedy of Krishna Prasad’s martyrdom was the result of lack of intelligence.

Independence Day Remission to international terrorist!

Another tragedy that followed was worse than intelligence failure, that is, Krishna Prasad’s killer walked out free soon. Main killer Mujib Ahmad was given life-term, that did not mean imprisonment till the end of his life. After serving just seven years he walked out of jail. When he was freed from Visakhapatnam Central Jail as a gift of Independence Day, the family of Krishna Prasad was shocked. The government has adhered to the remission norms as mathematics without any application of mind, and a terrorist killer was not distinguished from ordinary killer. The result was that a terrorist was released. Who should get gift of remission on Independence Day of India? An Indian convict or a foreign terrorist? A possibly regretting criminal or a ruthless killer? The explanation of the jail officials was: “The government has decided on the criteria for remission, and whoever fulfilled that condition was released. It happens irrespective of the fact whether the prisoner had reformed his ways or not. Mujib Ahmed was transferred from Cherlapally jail in Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam Central Jail on disciplinary grounds. Here he was lodged in single cell allowing for little interaction with other prisoners. When reporters asked whether he was a reformed man, Mujib just smiled. Krishna Prasad’s wife and two children were surprised that reformation of a self-confessed terrorist could be so swift! “I have nothing to say about it,” said Prasad’s widow G Janaki to a reporter at that time.

Pampering  Mujib

It is another tragedy that the Vishakha Central Prison has pampered prisoner Mujib and helped him with cell phones to talk to his terrorist colleagues. Naidu Nagarjun Reddy, a Naxalite prisoner who was released in August 2004 claimed that jail authorities supplied cell phones to Mujib, who made three calls from these mobiles continuing his terror links.

“Mujib used to make anti-Indian statements and misbehaved with fellow inmates, how could he be released for good conduct on Independence Day?” Nagarjuna Reddy asked. The jail authorities denying all these allegations told reporters that Vizag Jail was outside cell phone coverage area, even jail authorities could not use the mobiles, how could Mujib use? Strangely, the authorities also claimed that ‘bad conduct is not a bar against releasing prisoners as per GO”. The family feels, not the State, surprised at the way the killer was freed, as if he needed to plan for some more attacks. And he did.

No difference between ordinary killer and a terrorist killer?

He caught conspiring terrorist activities in north India, but he could jump out of custody of police. The AP government did not find any difference between an ordinary killer undergoing a life sentence and an ISI terrorist who killed a police officer. No due recognition was given to the martyr Krishna Prasad, while his colleagues became DGs or held higher positions. Ignored or forgotten.  The people do not know that the government is not paying due attention to terrorist roots in the old city of Hyderabad, not taking effective action to make Hyderabad or India terrorism-free and to remove risks to police officers like Krishna Prasad. The police officers murdered by Naxalites get more recognition while a young officer who laid down life fighting the terrorists in Hyderabad was forgotten or ignored.

Brave career

Krishna Prasad, hailing from a middleclass police inspector family, had won the DSP position by sheer merit in Group I examinations.  He was born to Gaddam Venkatappaiah, Inspector of Police and Venkata Subbaiamma on 31st July 1950 in Katuru Village, Krishna district, Andhra Pradesh. A postgraduate in Science, NCC cadet, sportsman, poet and photographer, Krishna Prasad was married to Janaki and had daughter Deepthi, and son Vivek. His career as police officer reflects the story of a brave, courageous, and duty-conscious personality fighting with extremists, mafia and terrorists. Apart from working in troubled areas of Andhra Pradesh, he served in Nowgong and Tezpur districts of Assam when separatist agitation was at its peak. With his sincere and well-organised work in extremist areas, he could secure arrest of 42 notable leaders of various groups of Naxalites, while several leaders surrendered and joined mainstream. Though 13 died in 14 encounters there were no doubts about genuineness of the encounters.

 Andhra Kesari

We sing the glory of Tanguturi Prakasham, for throwing himself against the .303 British guns in Madras during Independence struggle. We revere him as Andhra Kesari (Lion of Andhra). Prakasham was facing the aimed guns of British police, while Krishna Prasad faced AK 56 of foreign terrorists. If the former could be a lion, what should this officer be? Though his family was permitted to reside in the official quarters up to his retirement age, they were denied the extension. No suitable recognition was waiting him during his life or after.

A fatal mix of terrorism, failure of intelligence and absence of good governance convert brave officers into martyrs. The local administration was so shameful that none knew that Tolichowki was a breeding terrorist ground. It is not absence of good governance, but brazen bad governance.

Daughter Deepti

Deepti and her mother Janaki, who died in a fortnight.

At the time of this tragedy, she was just 8-year-old, and her brother Vivek was of 3 years. She used to go round the offices to secure the entitlements of the martyred father from the Police department, took care of mother and younger sibling.  She steered the family through the crisis, educated herself and brother. She on her own merit achieved success in public service examinations and rose to the level of General Manager, Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation. 

Also read: Deepti’s policy won appreciation of 2 Union ministers

Her colleagues in the Corporation remembered her helping activities, the way she organized the covid19 tests and personally went to patients without fear or hesitation to provide moral support.  Many of them visited her residence and paid tributes before last rites were performed. She used to present dahez (entire kitchen requirements, Almirah and Cot + bed) to the hundreds of newly married couples.

The couple have organized supply of cooked food (complete meal) to around 600 corona patients in 2020 from their house at Tirupathi, for which Collector, Chittoor, has profusely thanked them. Both were instrumental in connecting a Shiva Temple in Chandragiri with electricity supply and arranged for regular Abhishekam on Maasa Shivarathri every month. Vikas told that Deepti never missed Satyanarayana Vratam on every Pournami at her residence. After her mother, brother and herself getting infected with Covid+ she asked regular Purohit not to perform on the last full moon day, and she performed guided by the Vrata guide.

She was planning to start a skill development institute for young unemployed educated persons and to organize a small residential colony for very senior citizens with all facilities and medical help at Tirupathi.

She could not cope with the demise of her mother on 4th May 2021 due to corona virus. Her brother Vivek recovered, she valiantly fought and won over the virus, but the heart failed her. 

Prof. M. Sridhar Acharyulu
Author is Dean, Professor of law at Mahindra University at Hyderabad and former Central Information Commissioner. He published a number books in English and Telugu.

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