Karnati Guruvinod Kumar Reddy had always wanted to be a police officer. Though the AP man had attempted to crack the civil services exams, he never succeeded. Instead, he chose a more crooked path to his goal -- impersonating as an IPS officer with the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Karnati was recently caught in Hyderabad trying to pass off as NIA official, according to police. But it wasn't his first brush with the law for pretending to be someone else. Over the last three years, Karnati has posed as an air force official, an assistant commandant and an additional superintendent of police of the NIA, tricking numerous people along the way, including an ex-serviceman.
The fake air force officer
In 2016, Karnati took the civil services exam and failed, after which he lied to his family and friends about clearing the exam and becoming an IPS officer. It was one of the first of many lies that would lead Karnati down a slippery slope.
The son of an ex-army man, Karnati pretended to be an air force officer by creating a fake ID, which he showed to relatives and friends at his village in Prakasam district in Andhra Pradesh.
He also forged a letter claiming to have cleared the civil services examination as well as a fake training call letter in the name of Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie. He even managed to create barcode numbers for his ID card similar to those commonly issued by academies.
Under this pretext, he left to Hyderabad and took a room with a group of friends. But Karnati wasn’t ready to fully embrace his new life of deception. He instead joined the RC Reddy Institute to attempt to actually clear the civil service exam and become a real IPS officer.
However, after he failed again, he went back to impersonating an air force officer. Before long, he was caught by police for forgery, cheating by impersonation and other offences around the same issue.
After a stint in jail, Karnati was arrested once again in January for attempting to enter the gates of the Defence Management College Campus at Sainikpuri posing as an assistant commandant of the NIA, while carrying a fake ID card. This time he even carried a fake letter to carry a weapon. He was jailed and released again.
Karnati then rejoined the RC Reddy Institute and befriended Retired Major G Srinivasa Rao, a faculty at the institute, by introducing himself as additional superintendent of police of NIA. The ex-serviceman believed his lies, allowed Karnati to reside at his home and took him to parties with IPS officers who were in service. Karnati even managed to get a few selfies taken with the police officials.
But one day, Srinivasa Rao found that Karnati had suddenly left his home and a dummy pistol was missing as well. Srinivasa reached out to the NIA office and found out that he had been taken for a ride by the fake NIA officer. The ex-serviceman then approached the Gandhinagar Police station and filed a case against Karnati.
Karnati was apprehended from Chikkadapally on Wednesday. He had continued posing as an additional superintendent of police for the NIA and police found him while he was procuring fake rubber stamps with the official NIA seal. "He had even started making phone calls to local police stations to resolve his and others problems,” Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anjani Kumar told the media. The Shameerpet Police had briefly arrested Karnati after booking a cheating case for impersonating an IPS officer and making the police do his personal work.
Karnati had also been using fake identity cards to gain influence at railway reservations, cinema halls, public parks, shopping malls, toll gates and visiting temples across south India. He had also been using letterheads of the NIA, Railways Department and other government departments. He would sometimes even wear a uniform and carry a dummy pistol in a pouch to take photographs or move about near his residence while identifying himself as an IPS officer. The dummy pistol was stolen from the ex-serviceman's home for this purpose, according to a police press release.