Umesh Chandra in Cuddapah
Before returning to Cuddapah as Superintendent of Police, Umesh Chandra had a brief stint as A.S.P Pulivendala from November 1, 1994 to February 2, 1995. Pulivendala region was a violent and faction-ridden area. Recognizing Umesh Chandra's qualities and capabilities, the government chose him to bring order to this chaotic region.
This region was rife with gambling centers actively supported by various corrupt and vested interests. Within days of taking charge, Umesh Chandra raided several gambling centers and arrested many prominent citizens, including doctors, lawyers and politicians. This move led to protests from leaders belonging to all major political parties.
Undetered, Umesh Chandra carried on. Next he targetted several killers for hire. Umesh Chandra captured several violent killers, while the remaining fled the district.
Umesh Chandra visited several villages and quieted many factional feuds. He made all the feuding families see the futility of wasting time, money, resources on feuds which lead to bloodshed and destruction. He made them see that the corrupt and vested interests of the region were using these feuds to further their own selfish interests.
For the first time in the history of Rayachoti constituency, elections there were conducted peacefully without violence, murders or pollbooth capturing. There was no need for repolling. This event marked the beginning of a new era in the political history of this region.
Umesh Chandra returned to Cuddapah district as the Superintendent of Police in June 1995. The situation in Cuddapah mirrored the state of Pulivendala region before Umesh Chandra cleaned it up.
Umesh Chandra made extensive arrangements for the Mandal elections that immediately followed his arrival. He was responsible for an incident-free panchayat elections. This is yet another case of a historic election event.
Parliament elections were next. His imaginative handling of anti-social elements, use of Jana Jaagruti troupes and deployment of police forces lead to a very high turnout of voters and a peaceful poll. He received praise from all walks of life for his immaculate planning of the elections. The lack of poll-booth grabbing and rigging surprised politicial parties and the common man alike.
Umesh Chandra did the same in the entire district to hard-core and violent criminals and paid assassins as he did in Pulivendala.
He asked the police officers and constables to interact with the people on a one-on-one basis. The idea was that the police will now be hesitant to take bribes. After discussing with every police officer and constable, Umesh Chandra brought about a consensus that no police officer, constable or home guard in the district will take even a single rupee from anyone for any help rendered. The entire police force working with him voluntarily took an oath to this effect. In turn, Umesh Chandra helped every policeman in need in what ever way possible.
Cuddapah had always been a highly faction-ridden district. Faction leaders had their own armies and armories containing the latest weapons. The faction leaders wielded significant political influence, as a result of which earlier officials did not dare touch them.
Umesh Chandra meticulously complied a long list of placed to be raided for the capture of arms. His raids surprised several factions resulting in
Umesh Chandra's actions resulted in a drastic reduction in faction fights. The ensuing peace was felt by the common man as well as the factions. For the first times since the independence of this nation, Cuddapah was peaceful.
Before Umesh Chandra took over, women could not move freely after dark. The net effect of Umesh Chandra's efforts made it possible for women folk to move around freely during night and perhaps take in a late-night movie. The common man was relieved of victimization by the local political and factional leaders.
Umesh Chandra also took care of the police officers and constables working with him. He instituted a number of welfare measures. Some of these measures include
Umesh Chandra was the first to reach the remote areas with essential commodities and health care teams when floods ravaged the Cuddapah district. The police force contributed a portion of their pay towards the relief fund. Leaders of all parties, from all sections of the community praised Umesh Chandra's work and attitude.
People of Cuddapah district started to adore Umesh Chandra as God. People started calling him "devudu" because of the protection and peace they enjoyed during his tenure. Many letters and poems written to and on him testify to this fact.
From the moment he took charge in the district, corrupt and vested interests clamoured for his transfer. After two years of exemplary work, the government transferred him to Karimnagar which was resented by both people and police of the district. But this was inevitable as it is normal for the government to transfer the top officials after 2-3 years.
The common man and the police alike agitated against this transfer. People and police of Cuddapah stopped their agitation only after Umesh Chandra threatened to resign if they did not stop their agitation.
Umesh Chandra was given a farewell of a lifetime. He was felicitated in Proddutur, Pulivendala and Rayachoti. His felicitation function in Cuddapah was the high point of the four farewell functions. He was taken in a procession through the main streets of Cuddapah city in a chariot be-decked with flowers. The people sang songs in his praise, extolled his virtues and thanked him profusely, all the time saying that what Umesh Chandra accomplished could not be adequately thanked. When Umesh Chandra left Cuddapah, thousands lined up to say good bye, not one had a dry eye.
Video clips, newspaper clips and photographs of this grand occasion are only to be seen and read to understand the feelings of the people and police of Cuddapah.