Saturday, June 18, 2005

Minister Planning To Attend North American Telugu Conference, Has Passport Stolen

From The Times of India:
"HYDERABAD: In a glaring security lapse, an unidentified person had gone abroad on a passport issued in the name of revenue minister Dharmana Prasada Rao. This came to light when the minister went to the US consulate in Chennai to get a visa for attending the convention of the Telugu Association of North America (Tana) next month. Consulate officials reportedly told Prasada Rao that someone had already 'utilised' a passport issued in his name and travelled to the US.

The stunned minister lodged a complaint with the Banjara Hills police on Thursday. Prasada Rao said he possibly lost the passport during transit after 1994. He said during his stint as a minister between 1991 and 1994, he stayed at the ministers quarters in Banjara Hills and vacated the premises after losing the elections.

'I might have lost the passport during the transit period,' he said. Police said Prasada Rao, however, did not lodge a complaint immediately after losing the passport. When Prasada Rao became an MLA again in 1999 and in 2002, he obtained a diplomatic passport to visit Asian countries along with other legislators.

He claimed that he lost the diplomat passport too and lodged a complaint with the Srikakulam police on May 11, 2005. Subsequently, he obtained a new passport in 2005. A senior police officer is being sent to the US consulate to get details about the person who procured the passport and managed to travel abroad."


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