Hundreds accompany funeral procession; body cremated with state honours

Thousands of people thronged the nondescript Marturu village, about five km from here, on Sunday morning to have a last glimpse of the ‘hero from their village’, K.L.V.S.S.N. Vara Prasad Babu, who was killed by Maoists in the forests of Chhattisgarh on Wednesday.

Hundreds of men, women, and even children marched all the way from Anakapalle to Marturu, braving the scorching summer heat to bid a tearful farewell to the Greyhounds Reserve Inspector. The coffin was put on an open top van and taken in the procession.

“I came from Visakhapatnam to see his body,” said a youth, who was walking to the village.

Endearing figure

“Prasad, who had done his schooling in the village and college at Anakapalle, had endeared himself to the people. He was a familiar face not only in the village but also in the town,” he said.

Scores of women, standing on either side of the road and some from the rooftops, were seen weeping as the procession entered the village.

Some elderly women prayed with folded hands as the van carrying the body passed through the road.

The anguish on their faces seemed to indicate their disapproval of the Maoist action in killing a young police officer.

Greyhounds men, who came from different places in the district, wore black badges as they marched along.

The coffin was taken out of the van and placed on the stage at the Panchayat Office at Marturu. Prasad’s aged parents and some others were allowed to go near the coffin.

The narrow road was full of people and the villagers climbed on the roofs of houses all around the Panchayat Office to have a better view.

Second-generation cop

Prasad had joined the Police Department as a Sub Inspector in 2004 and was subsequently promoted as an inspector.

His father Karanam Venkataramaiah is a retired constable.

His two daughters are married and Prasad, his only son, had married a couple of years ago.

Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao, former MLA Karanam Dharmasri, Inspector-General (Greyhounds) P.S.R. Anjaneyulu, Deputy Inspector- General (Visakhapatnam Range) Swati Lakra, Superintendent of Police (Visakhapatnam Rural) G. Srinivas, officials of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), and a large number of police officers were among those who were present.

The body was cremated with full State honours.