Unsung Hero, Addl. SP Krishna Prasad
He stepped forward with a small service pistol and faced the unexpected enemy with AK 56! AK 56 was only read and heard in those days. However, it sneaked into the Old City and landed in the hands of Pakistani’s ISI terrorists. The latter was also heard for the first time in the capital city of a southern state. The police officer was pushing through the door into their den when an AK 56 was aimed at him by Pakistani ISI men. Next second, the terrorists fired their guns, and he fell, firing from his pistol.
Twenty-seven years ago, in Bhagyanagar, terrorists had an adda. Can we believe it? Moreover, they had AK 56! Failure of intelligence is more disastrous than an ISI 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 become martyrs.
It was on November 29, 1992, in Tolichowki of Hyderabad. Additional Superintendent of Police G Krishna Prasad (1950-92) was shot to death 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 the area. He was not furnished with information that ISI-sponsored terrorists were armed with automatic rifles like Kalashnikovs. He knocked at the door, and two unsuspecting girls opened the door and tried to prevent Krishna Prasad from making his way into the house.
Suddenly terrorists popped up and opened fire, killing him and his gunman. However, even while receiving bullets, Krishna Prasad courageously shot from his service pistol in reply to the gunfire from AK 56 rifles. That brave act 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 the arrest of Mujib and the encounter of another killer.
We sing the glory of Tanguturi Prakasham, for throwing himself against the .303 British guns in Madras during the 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 be this officer?
Knowing the enemy is half the victory, moreover, not knowing is complete defeat. No victory or defence can be devised or pursued without knowing whom one is fighting. Hyderabad Intelligence does not know who the enemy was and what weapons they possessed. The tragedy of Krishna Prasad’s martyrdom was the result of a lack of intelligence.
Independence Day Remission to an international terrorist!
Another tragedy that followed was worse than an intelligence failure, that is, Krishna Prasad’s killer walking out free. The primary shooter, Mujib Ahmad, was given life term, which does not mean imprisonment until death. After serving just seven years, he walked out free. When he was freed from Visakhapatnam Central Jail as an Independence Day gift, Krishna Prasad’s family was shocked.
The government adhered to the remission norms without considering the context. Therefore, a terrorist is not distinguished from an ordinary killer. The result is that a terrorist is released. Who should get the gift of remission on Independence Day? An Indian convict or a foreign terrorist? A possibly regretting criminal or a ruthless killer?
The jail officials explained, “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 the Cherlapally jail in Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam central jail on disciplinary grounds. Here he was lodged in a 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 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 of Mujib
It is another tragedy that the Visakha central prison pampered Mujib and helped him with cell phones to talk to his terrorist colleagues. Naidu Nagarjun Reddy, a Naxalite prisoner who was released on 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 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, not the state, was surprised at the way the killer was freed as if he needs to plan some more attacks. And he did. He was caught conspiring terrorist activities in North India, but he escaped police custody. 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, 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 died fighting terrorists in Hyderabad was forgotten or ignored.
Krishna Prasad hailing from a middle-class police inspector family won the DSP position by sheer efforts in Group I examinations. He was born to Gaddam Venkataplpaiah, Inspector of Police and Venkata Subbaiamma on July 31, 1950, in Katuru Village, Krishna District in Andhra Pradesh. A Post Graduate of science, NCC Cadet, sportsman, poet and photographer, Krishna Prasad was married to Janaki and had one daughter Deepthi, and one son Vivek. His career as police officer reflects the story of a brave, and duty conscious person fighting extremists, mafia, and terrorists. Apart from working in troubled areas of Andhra Pradesh, he served in Nowgong and Tezpur districts of Assam when agitations were at its peak. With his sincere and well-organised work in extremist regions, he could secure the arrest of 42 notable leaders of various groups of Naxalites, while several leaders surrendered and joined the mainstream society. However, 13 died in 14 encounters there were no doubts about the genuineness of his encounters.
Though his family resided in the official quarters up until his retirement age, they were denied an extension. No suitable recognition was waiting for him during his life or after. His daughter Deepthi, aged 12, at the time of the tragedy, found her way through competitive examinations to the Group 1 officer in Telangana. His son is a graduate.
Do you remember, minister?
After becoming the Union Minister of State, Secunderabad MP, G Kishan Reddy, made a bold statement, that Hyderabad had roots of Islamic Terrorism. Did this minister know that ISI terrorists martyred Krishna Prasad in 1992?
On October 21, Marty Day, Gaddam Krishna Prasad Memorial High School in Khammam remembers him. Why won’t the nation?