Hyderabad: cop Encounter poli ’had led similar operations in 2008

HYDERABAD: On December 10, 2008, three men threw acid on Pranitha, 20, and her friend Swapnika, on a busy street in the city of Warangal, when they were returning home from the university. The trio - S Srinivas (25), D Sanjay (22) and P Harikrishna (24) - attacked the young women because Srinivas was upset after Swapnika rejected him. The protests broke out and then they did not divide Andhra Pradesh demanding justice for young women. Three days after the attack, the defendants were killed in a meeting.

Vishwanath Chennappa Sajjanar was a police superintendent of the Warangal district at the time. Eleven years later, four men, Mohammed Areef, Shiva, Naveen and Chennakesavulu, accused of raping a veterinarian in a group and killing her near Shamshabad, had the same fate. The area is under the commission limits of the Cyberabad police, which Sajjanar now heads. It was not a mere coincidence.

Sajjanar, a low-profile cop until the Warangal meeting, earned the meeting police nickname. He became a hero for acting quickly to make arrests within 48 hours after the attack on women and the encounter within three days. Pranitha and Swapnika, their families and people across the state welcomed the meeting.

A 1996 IPS batch officer, the gentle Sajjanar is known for his tough stance in police circles. While the police faced criticism for mishandling the case of veterinary rape and murder, Sajjanar was making silent strategies. The murder of four defendants in the early hours of Friday near Shamshabad was reminiscent of the Warangal meeting 11 years ago.

Senior police officers remember that Sajjanar was in operation when the two students of the Kakatiya College of Technology, Warangal, were attacked by the trio. Sajjanar said the trio was shot dead in self-defense when they attacked the police after they were taken to Mamnoor on the outskirts of Warangal to retrieve the acid bottle and the stolen motorcycle. According to police, the trio tried to attack them with weapons and bottles of acid manufactured in the country that they had allegedly hidden. The police retaliated and the trio was killed at the meeting.

In a strange similarity, Sajjanar said the meeting near Shamshabad took place on Friday when two of the defendants attacked the police and the other two took up their weapons and tried to shoot. They were killed in the crossfire, he said.

Sajjanar, originally from Hubballi in Karnataka, began his career as an assault commander in Greyhounds, the elite anti-Naxal force, and was an additional police superintendent in Jangaon in 1997. He then led the police force in five groups prone to Naxal. districts: Nalgonda, Warangal, Kadapa and Medak. “An IPS officer who gains control of five districts like SP is also a rare case. Normally, IPS officers can head two or three districts maximum before being recruited into other wings, ”said a former IPS officer.

Sajjanar was sent to Odisha when he was in charge of anti-nax operations in the former Khammam district in 2000 to train Odisha police after the Maoists had made a series of attacks on police stations in the neighboring state.

He led the Special Intelligence Division (SIB) for almost three years and it was during his leadership that the famous gangster Nayeemuddin was killed in a meeting two years ago near a private complex in Shadnagar, not far from Hyderabad, said an SIB officer.

Sajjanar had also worked with Counter Intelligence Wing, which deals with terrorism-related activities.

As head of the Economic Crime Wing (EOW) in the Crime Investigation Department (CID), Sajjanar persecuted multilevel marketing companies (MLM) for cheating people and stealing their earned savings with such effort. Under his leadership, cases were filed against Amway and Japan Life in 2002. Some organizations closed their businesses in the undivided AP when he was SP of the EOW, an inspector recalled.