Umesh Chandra: Martyr and Legend

The Tragedy and its aftermath

Umesh Chandra was assassinated on September 4, 1999 when he stopped at a traffic light. Four naxalites opened fire on him, his driver and his gunman. His driver and gunman were killed immediately as they were shot at point blank range.

Incidentally, on that particular day he did not carry his weapon (handgun). However, his love for his men was so overpowering that he did not think for his safety even for a second. While chasing a couple of the naxalites, the naxalites sensed that he did not carry a weapon and turned back and fired at him twice. Umesh Chandra then collapsed on the road, at which point they shot him point blank.

Everyone in the entire state, irrespective of age, shed tears over this ghastly event. Hundreds of thousands of people from the other districts of the state converged to Hyderabad to pay their respects to a daring, brave warrior who refused to compromise on his principles.

Every police officer who worked with Umesh Chandra allegedly questioned their superiors why Umesh Chandra was not provided with adequate police protection. Many policemen expressed anger at the top police brass. Even the common man was disgusted with the attitude of the police brass.

The top police officials only made lame excuses at the event. In fact, they were the main reason why security was not accorded to Umesh Chandra. Even though they knew that Umesh Chandra was more successful in dealing with naxalites than all of them combined, and therefore was a prime target, they refused to provide Umesh Chandra with the necessary security force warranted any one with Umesh Chandra's record on the naxal front.

This event naturally created a good deal of sympathy for Umesh Chandra. A number of police officers and constables who worked with Umesh Chandra wanted to come and pay respects to Umesh Chandra. Even in this situation, the top police brass were jealous of Umesh Chandra. They issued a directive that these police officials must not travel to Hyderabad to pay respects to their leader. In spite of such directives, hundreds of policemen attended the funeral and risked facing the wrath of their officers.

The aftermath:

To honour their association with Umesh Chandra, several police divisions and peoples associations started a number of activities such as

  • sports meets

  • cricket matches

  • poor feeding

  • water camps during the summer

  • supplying snacks to patients in hospitals by voluntary service associations

Several songs were composed in his honour.

People have started adorning their walls with Umesh Chandra's photographs. When one visits any home in the Cuddapah district, one will find a garlanded photograph of Umesh Chandra. The same holds to for every police station in the entire state of Andhra Pradesh. It is no wonder he became immortal, in the minds of people and the police force. 

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