Attack on Jagan at Vizag Airport was pre-planned, say police

Visakhapatnam: The knife attack on YSR Congress Party President Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy at Visakhapatnam Airport on October 25 last year was pre-planned, police said on Wednesday.

Visakhapatnam Police Commissioner Mahesh Chandra Laddha told reporters that accused Janipalli Srinivas had planned the attack on October 18 but he could not execute the plan as the opposition leader had left for Hyderabad a day earlier.

Jagan, as the YSRCP leader is popularly knows, was injured when Srinivas, a worker at the airport canteen, attacked him with a cockfight knife as the leader of opposition was waiting to board a flight to Hyderbad.

Jagan, who sustained a bleeding cut on his left upper arm, continued his journey and got admitted to a hospital in Hyderabad.

Revealing the details of the investigation, the Police Commission said on the day of the attack Srinivas had left home at 4.55 a.m. after sterilising the knife.

Around 8 a.m. he rang up his friends Hemalatha and Sheikh Ammaji to tell them ‘you will see me on television today’. He again sterilised the knife in the canteen before proceeding to the VIP lounge to attack Jagan.

Police said Srinivas, who had prepared a flexi of Jagan in January 2017, carried out the attack to get publicity.

Immediately after the attack, leaders of ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) had termed it as an internal ploy of YSRCP to gain public sympathy.

Jagan had refused to record his statement before Andhra Pradesh Police saying he had no trust in agencies controlled by the state government.

YSR Congress leader Y.S. Subba Reddy had filed a petition in Hyderabad High Court seeking directions to the Centre to hand over the case to either the National Investigation Agency (NIA) or Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

The High Court on December 22 gave two weeks time to the Andhra Pradesh government and the Centre to act according to Section 6 of the NIA Act. A division bench said that till then the investigations by Visakhapatnam police can continue but they can’t file the chargesheet. It adjourned the hearing till January 4.