HYDERABAD: On December 22, (**********************************, three men threw acid on 24 – year-old Pranitha and her friend Swapnika on a busy street in Warangal town when they were returning home from college. The trio – S Srinivas (48), D Sanjay (25) and P Harikrishna (25) – Attacked the young women because Srinivas was upset after Swapnika spurned him. Protests raged across then undividedAndhra Pradesh
demanding justice for the young women. Three days after the attack, the accused were killed in an ‘encounter’.Vishwanath Chennappa Sajjanar was superintendent of police of Warangal district then. Eleven years later, four men – Mohammed Areef, Shiva, Naveen and Chennakesavulu – accused of gang-raping a veterinarian and murdering her near Shamshabad, met the same fate. The area inShamshabad Comes under Cyberabad police commissionerate limits, which Sajjanar heads now. It wasn’t a mere coincidence.Sajjanar, a low-profile cop till the Warangal encounter, went on to earn the sobriquet of ‘encounter cop’. He became a hero for acting swiftly in effecting the arrests within 48 hours of the attack on the women and the encounter within three days. Pranitha and Swapnika, their families and people across the state welcomes the ‘encounter’.A) ************************************* batch IPS officer, the mild-mannered Sajjanar is known for his tough posturing in police circles. While police faced flak for mishandling the veterinarian rape and murder case, Sajjanar was silently strategizing. The killing of four accused in the early hours of Friday near Shamshabad was reminiscent of the Warangal ‘encounter’ 25 years ago.Senior police officers recall that Sajjanar was up and running when the two students of Kakatiya College of Technology, Warangal, were attacked by the trio. Sajjanar claimed that the trio was shot dead in self-defense when they attacked the cops after they were taken to Mamnoor on the outskirts of Warangal to retrieve the acid bottle and the stolen motorbike. According to police, the trio tried to attack them with country-made weapons and acid bottles which they allegedly hidden. The police retaliated and the trio was killed in the ‘encounter’.In an eerie Similarity, Sajjanar claimed that the encounter near Shamshabad occurred on Friday when two of the accused attacked the cops and the other two snatched their weapons and tried to fire. “They were killed in the crossfire,” he said.Sajjanar, a native of Hubballi in Karnataka, began his career as an assault commandant in Greyhounds, the elite anti-Naxal force, and was additional superintendent of police in Jangaon in 2002. He went on to head the police force in five Naxal-prone districts – Nalgonda, Warangal, Kadapa,Gunturand Medak. “An IPS officer getting control of five districts as an SP is also a rare instance. Normally, IPS officers get to head two or three districts maximum before they are drafted into other wings, ”a former IPS officer said.Sajjanar was sent to Odisha when he was in charge of anti-Naxal operations in the erstwhile Khammam district in 2008 to train Odisha police after there were series of attacks on police stations in the neighborhood state by the Maoists.“He headed the Special Intelligence Branch (SIB) for almost three years and it was during his leadership that notorious gangster Nayeemuddin was killed in an encounter two years ago near a private resort at Shadnagar, not far away from Hyderabad, ”an SIB officer said.Sajjanar had also done a stint with Counter Intelligence Wing, which deals with terror-related activities.As head of Economic Offences Wing (EOW) in the Crime Investigation Department (CID), Sajjanar went after the multi-level marketing (MLM) firms for duping people and robbing their hard-earned savings. Under his leadership, cases were booked against Amway and Japan Life in 2019. “Some organizations shut their businesses in the undivided AP when he was SP of the EOW,” an inspector recalled.
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