A suspended police head constable on Wednesday night kept a Superintendent of Police hostage for four hours protesting alleged harassment by the bosses before freeing him after a high drama.
Head constable Giriprasad Sarma, after taking SP E Lakshmi Narayana hostage, threatened to set the room, in which the officer was confined, on fire if his demands were not met or if police tried to use force to release the SP.
Sarma had locked himself and the SP inside the lodge room near Lakdi-Ka-Pool at Saifabad area, close to the police headquarters.
After taking the SP hostage, Sarma, who was suspended in May, told a Telugu news channel that Narayana and other senior police officials of PTO harassed him, and were responsible for getting him suspended. He demanded that his suspension order be revoked and disciplinary action taken against Narayana.
Senior officers spoke to Sarma and appealed him to free the SP. Andhra Pradesh home minister P Sabitha Indra Reddy too spoke to him at one point and assured that his problems will be looked into and resolved, police said.
Asked why he was holding the SP captive, Sarma told the news channel, "It is only related to PTO issues. He is a high-ranking police officer in the organisation and complaints (against other officers) were made to him." Naryana, who was allowed by Sarma to speak to the channel, however, said he had never harassed Sarma and pleaded for release in view of his health condition.
"I have been tied here. My health is not good. I never harassed him. In fact, I came here (to the room) to solve his problem after Sarma asked me to do so. But after one hour, I was told that I have been held captive."
What finally seemed to have persuaded Sarma to free the officer was the conversation he had with DGP V Dinesh Reddy.
About 15 minutes after the DGP spoke to Sarma on phone, lights in the room were switched on, and both the SP and the head constable walked out of the room at around 11.05pm, police said.
"The SP has been freed," Hyderabad police commissioner Anurag Sharma told PTI.
Mediapesons were not allowed near the spot.
Reddy said the head constable highlighted certain points "which were worth looking into".
"I have spoken to him and asked him to directly meet me in office tomorrow. His issues will be handled on priority. I am going to inquire into why he was suspended. I asked him to release the SP," Reddy had said after the phone call.
Asked if Sarma was arrested, the commissioner said the head constable had not been taken into custody at the moment.
The Commissioner, however, said police would certainly question the constable and find out what happened.
Lakshmi Naryayana was taken to a nearby hospital after the release.