Photographs showing senior policemen allegedly interacting with a killed Maoist-turned-extortionist have surfaced on social media, weeks after the Telangana government told the Hyderabad high court there was no proof of their “nexus” with the dreaded gangster.
Mohammad Nayeemuddin alias Nayeem, involved in over 100 criminal cases, including the murder of a former Indian Police Service officer, was killed in a shootout with security forces in Telangana’s Mahbubnagar district in August last year.
One of the photographs shows Maddipati Srinivas Rao, currently an additional superintendent of police with the Crime Investigation Department (CID), drinking with Nayeem. In another picture, additional SP (counter intelligence) Chandrasekhar and inspector Saidulu are seen eating with the gangster.
Similarly, Sangareddy deputy superintendent of police Tirupathanna is seen along with Nayeem at a Ganesh pandal, supposedly at Bhongir where the gangster regularly held the Ganesh Chavithi festivities in the late 2000s. Tirupathanna was then an inspector with Bhongir police station.
In another photograph, senior cop Venkat Reddy is seen with Nayeem at a function.
Telangana home secretary Rajiv Trivedi categorically declared that there was no evidence whatsoever to prove that the police had been actively using the services of Nayeem and that they were hand in glove with him. He made the declaration in his counter-affidavit submitted to the high court in December last year.
Trivedi denied the allegation that the police officers benefitted from Nayeem, saying there was no evidence to prove it. He also claimed reports that the police had paid money to Nayeem to obtain information about the Maoist movement were false.
The home secretary’s affidavit was contrary to the claims of senior retired IPS officers like former director general of police V Dinesh Reddy and former special intelligence bureau chief Sriram Tiwari. They said that the police department had used Nayeem as a police informer to gather vital information about the Maoists.
When contacted, inspector general of police Y Nagi Reddy, admitted that the photographs in circulation could be genuine and have been sent to the forensic department for verification.
“Based on the forensic report, we would carry out further investigation,” Reddy, who heads the special investigation team of the Telangana police that is probing the Nayeem encounter case, told Hindustan Times.
He said several photographs had been seized from the dens of Nayeem after the encounter and all of them had been submitted to the court.
“The SIT has questioned as many as 11 police officials on the suspicion of their alleged nexus with Nayeem, but nothing concrete has emerged. We will question some more officials. These photographs could be part of the evidence and not the only evidence to prove the nexus between the police officials concerned and Nayeem,” Reddy added.
“We need to gather more evidence. A lot of people have given us complaints against Nayeem and we need to dig deep into them to get the actual picture,” he said.
Nayeem, who belonged to Bhongir town in Nalgonda district, worked for the People’s War Group in the late 1980s.
He was allegedly involved in the killing of IPS officer KS Vyas on January 27, 1993. He was arrested for the murder but got bail.
He was also involved in 20 murder cases, including that of surrendered Maoist Sambasivudu, his brother Ramulu, another ex-Maoist Patlolla Goverdhan Reddy and civil liberties leader Purushottam.
He and his gang were involved in land settlements, real estate dealings, illegal arms supply and extortions.