District officials who had interacted frequently with Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy and participated in many programmes with him, and IAS and IPS officers P. Subramanyam and ASC Wesley who had been their friends, the death of these three along with pilots SK Bhatia and MS Reddy in Wednesday’s helicopter crash, was still not believable.

Till Thursday morning they felt that all the five were safe and then came the shocking news, pushing them into deep agony.

These were the feelings expressed by Visakhapatnam Port Trust Chairman Ajeya Kallam, Collector J. Syamala Rao, Commissioner of Police N. Sambasiva Rao and Vice-Chairman of the Visakhapatnam Urban Development Authority V.N. Vishnu at a condolence meeting held at the Collectorate on Thursday. They recalled the services done to the people, particularly to the poorer sections, by Rajasekhara Reddy, his generosity in providing help to every one he met, and their association with Subrahmanyam and Wesley.

Commissioner of Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation B. Sreedhar, Superintendent of Police Vineet Brij Lal, Joint Collector P. Satyanarayana Reddy, District Revenue Officer D. Venkata Reddy and heads of all Government departments attended the meeting and paid rich tributes to Rajasekhara Reddy and others and conveyed their sympathies to their families.

Mr. Syamala Rao said he could not still believe that the ever-smiling Rajasekhara Reddy was no more.

He recalled the two visits Rajasekhara Reddy had made to the district since he had taken over a few months ago.

‘Man of action’

Mr. Kallam said Rajasekhara Reddy took up a programme or a scheme that he believed would benefit the people and did not rest till it was implemented successfully and was accepted by the people.

Talking about Subrahmanyam, who was his batch mate and was a very close friend, Mr. Kallam became emotional and burst into tears.

Both officers were very close to Mr. Sambasiva Rao, while the late Subramanyam was very affectionate and both worked together in some places, the late Wesley was a family friend and a close neighbour in the past.

Mr. Sambasiva Rao said Rajasekhara Reddy was affectionate towards the employees and brought a great relief to the police department by going for recruitment of as many as 35,000 constables.

Mr. Vishnu, former Collector of Srikakulam, said Rajasekhara Reddy was a man with kind heart. The Chief Minister launched Arogya Sri in Srikakulam and Jala Yagnam and his ideas and programmes should be implemented. Subramanyam was his mentor and guide, Mr. Vishnu said.