Given death and life in jail, who are they waving at and why? IAS widow fears for family

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By G. S. RADHAKRISHNA in Hyderabad
  • Published 3.10.07

Hyderabad, Oct. 3: Justice took 13 years to arrive but when it did, Uma Krishnaiah is more scared than satisfied.

“I fear a threat to my life and that of my children from the powerful lobby of Bihar politicians as those convicted are not ordinary people,” said Uma, hours after Anand Mohan and two others were sentenced to death for the murder of her IAS husband G. Krishnaiah.

Life for the 40-year-old widow has not been easy in Hyderabad, where she came within two months of the murder with her two daughters and joined a college, but it has been peaceful at least. Now she is not sure.

“All those convicted are powerful local leaders who wield a lot of influence in the present government. I don’t anticipate an easy life now for myself and my children,” Uma said from her flat in the city’s Kundan Bagh area.

Uma played no role in bringing the killers to justice, possibly because supporting her daughters and herself appeared more pressing than pursuing the case in Bihar. “I joined as a lecturer within two months. I had to support myself and bring up my two daughters,” she said.

Uma said she had not pursued the case or filed any petition. “I think the state government itself filed the case. How can I fight a political leadership that includes criminals?”

Krishnaiah with his family in file picture. (Above) Lovely Anand in a police van. Picture by Deepak Kumar

She added, though, that it was the political clout of the accused that delayed the trial in the case. “Thirteen years is too long a time for justice in such critical cases.”

At work, the soft-spoken English lecturer has won admirers for her courage. “She is a very brave woman and has fought back remarkably in life,” said S. Janaki Rani, principal of the Government Women’s Degree College, where Uma has been teaching for seven years.

Today, though, the painful memories appeared to be flooding back. “I have been trying to heal the wounds of 1994 but today’s development will rip them open,” she said.

The daughters echoed their mother’s fear. “Mummy is afraid of the consequences of the conviction and sentence given to the former MP and his followers,” said Padma, 18, a B.A. (Mass Comm.) student of St Francis College. Sister Niharika, a year older, is in the final year of her B.Tech course at Vasavi Engineering College.

Other than a plot in the Jubilee Hills area that the Bihar government had bought for the family earlier, Uma has been getting money for the education of her children. “We have been getting some scholarships from the Bihar government for our education,” Padma said.

Uma recalled that her husband had always wanted to work for the betterment of the poor, and saw his career in the bureaucracy as the best way to achieve that objective. “He had chosen IAS in pursuit of this goal.”