HYDERABAD:Old, tired and weak -- former policeman Mohammad Abdul Qadeer, who spent 25 years in prison for murdering his superior ACP Sattaiah in 1990, missed Eid with his family after being released on parole on Monday.
In 1990, when Hyderabad witnessed one of its deadliest bouts of communal riots, Qadeer shot dead his superior ACP T Sattiah in the early hours of December 12. He pulled the trigger of his 410 Musket at Sattaiah from point-blank range. Reliving the horrific incident, Qadeer says he committed the crime since he was mentally disturbed after the death of nearly 150 people.
“At that time, there was severe communal tension in the city. We were made to work double shifts every single day. Sometimes, even when everything was peaceful, the higher officials would ask us to stay on duty late at night,” recalls Qadeer.“I repeatedly complained to my superiors but nothing was done. I was disturbed that so many innocent lives were being lost in the riots. In a momentary lapse, I pulled the trigger,” he reveals.
Qadeer was sentenced to life in 1992 by the Hyderabad High Court and he has been in jail for the past 25 years.
A diabetic, Qadeer had his left leg amputated in 2012, due to which several sections have been advocating his release on humanitarian grounds.
Former Supreme Court Judge Markandey Katju has been most vocal in advocating for Qadeer’s release and has also slammed Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi for his inability to get a pardon for the former constable. Qadeer, however, says that since he was in jail, it would be unwise on his part to comment on MIM’s efforts.
“I have learnt never to trust politicians. They always change their colours whenever it suits them,” he bluntly adds. Qadeer has two sons and two daughters, one of the son is nine years old.
Cold Blooded Murder
Dismissing Qadeer’s version, MV Bhaskar Rao, who was Hyderabad’s police commissioner when the incident took place, says the constable had a vendetta against ACP Sattaiah from the start.
“Qadeer somehow had this perception that Sattaiah had something against the minority community. It was a cold-blooded murder and killing a law enforcement officer is unpardonable, and I feel the court has been lenient on him,” thundered Krishna Rao. Arguing against his release, the former cop said, “In any other country, if you kill a law enforcement officer, you will not even be granted parole. So he should consider himself as lucky to even be out on parole. There is nothing in law called ‘humanitarian grounds’, if he has a family, then what about the victims? Sattaiah’s family have suffered for years because of his crime,” Rao argued.
Sattiah Family’s Nod
Meanwhile, the parole was granted after seeking the approval of Sattaiah’s family. Sources reveal that Sattaiah’s son T Arun Kumar, who is based in USA, had agreed for him to be granted parole, since the damage had already been done.