The name of Group Commander S.K. Bhatia evokes fond memories among the staff of the Yapral Post Office.

Readily directing the reporter to his house at the Sylvan Greens Township here, they recall that the personal pilot of Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who died in the air crash along with him on Nallamala Hills, was a very warm person.

“Whenever I went to his residence to deliver letters, he would invite me over to have snacks or a cup of tea. Even when he called the post office to enquire about the mail, he would ask after my family and well-being. We knew that he was a pilot, but he never revealed that he worked for the Chief Minister,” said Mahesh, the postman of the area. He recalls that Mr. Bhatia readily offered help.

Indian Air Force personnel made a beeline to the house to console the bereaved family. It is reported that the wife of Mr. Bhatia is in a state of shock and not allowing even close relatives to speak to her. The media personnel are not allowed inside the township and two constables from Bollarum Police Station have been posted to control the crowd.

It is reported that the officer is survived by two sons, one doing a UG course and another still in school. Rural Development Minister V. Vasanthakumar and MLC Indrasen Reddy visited the bereaved family and offered condolences.

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