Amaravati, Jan 29 In an embarrassment to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, his cousin has approached the High Court to seek a CBI probe into the “killing” of her father Y.S. Vivekananda Reddy in March 2019.
N. Suneetha Reddy petitioned the Andhra Pradesh High Court to order the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the murder of the former state minister and MP who was found murdered at his residence in Kadapa on March 15, a couple of weeks ahead of the 2019 Assembly elections.
Suneetha said she suspected the conduct of her cousin and Kadapa MP Y.S. Avinash Reddy and his father Y.S. Bhaskar Reddy in the matter.
She said that shifting of police officials investigating the case and slow pace of probe also gave credence to her suspicion.
In her petition, she wondered why the Chief Minister was not handing over the case to the CBI, though it had been eight months since he assumed office.
She recalled that as the then Leader of Opposition, Jagan had demanded the CBI probe, submitted a memorandum to the Governor, and even filed a petition in the High Court.
The High Court, which heard the plea on Tuesday, asked the government to reply as to why it has objections to a CBI probe.
After the government sought time to file its reply, Justice Durga Prasad Rao posted the case for February 6.
The court will hear the plea of Suneetha and her husband along with the petitions filed earlier by her mother Y.S. Sowbhagyamma, Jagan Mohan Reddy and others, including some leaders of opposition Telugu Desam Party.
Suneetha also questioned the Chief Minister’s move to set up another Special Investigation Team to probe the crime.
The petitioner alleged that the SIT ended up interrupting the investigation and its conduct gave rise to doubts about police’s intentions in “implicating innocent people”, so as to allow the culprits go scot-free.
Suneetha Reddy and her husband N. Rajasekhar Reddy pleaded that Avinash Reddy was one of the first from the family to arrive at the crime scene. The petitioners claimed that Avinash Reddy was protecting Siva Shankar Reddy, a general secretary of YSR Congress Party who was close to both Avinash and his father. They claimed that Siva Shankar Reddy had a criminal background and Vivekananda Reddy was not happy with him.
Suneetha claimed that Shankar Reddy was responsible for her father’s defeat in the Legislative Council elections in 2016.
The petitioners named 15 persons whose conduct they suspected. The plea said that these persons were present at the crime scene when the blood stains were washed and the wounds on Vivekananda Reddy’s body were bandaged.
They included Avinash, his father Bhaskar Reddy and latter’s younger brother Y.S. Manohar Reddy, four other members of the YSR family, Siva Shankar Reddy, couple of policemen and K. Srinivas Reddy.
Suneetha claimed that Srinivas Reddy’s alleged suicide on September 2, 2019, was in fact murder. Srinivas was a brother-in-law of Parmeswar Reddy, an accused in the case.
In his suicide note addressed to the Chief Minister, Srinivas claimed that police was harassing him.
The 68-year-old former MP was alone at his house when unidentified persons barged in and killed him, hours before he was to launch YSRCP’s election campaign in Kadapa.
Jagan Mohan Reddy had then demanded the CBI probe and blamed then ruling TDP for the killing. Jagan claimed that TDP leadership was aware of the conspiracy whenever a death occurred in his family.