No conspiracy behind attack on YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, says Vizag police chief; assailant suffered from split personality

Visakhapatnam: The knife attack on YSR Congress chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy in Vishakhapatnam in October last year had been carried out by the accused with the intention to become 'famous' and there was no conspiracy, a top police official said Wednesday.

J Srinivasa Rao (30), the assailant employed as a chef at a restaurant at the airport in Visakhapatnam, was suffering from "split personality syndrome" and had no other motive, Police Commissioner Mahesh Chandra Laddha said.

 No conspiracy behind attack on YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, says Vizag police chief; assailant suffered from split personality

Jagan Mohan Reddy stabbed at Visakhapatnam airport. ANI

At a press conference here, he cited the findings of the Special Investigation Team which probed the 25 October attack and said Rao had well planned for it and he wanted to become famous throughout the country.

Reddy, the Leader of the Opposition in Andhra Pradesh assembly, escaped with a "deep" cut on his left shoulder in the attack by Rao, who had approached him when he was leaving the VIP lounge to board a flight to Hyderabad and requested for a 'selfie'.

As an unsuspecting Reddy posed for the picture, the man pulled out a small knife generally used in cockfights and plunged it into his left shoulder.

He was overpowered by the CISF personnel guarding the airport and later arrested by the police soon after the attack, which drew strong political reactions.

The YSRC had claimed that the cafeteria where the assailant was employed was owned by ruling Telugu Desam Party leader Harshavardhan, who was aspiring to contest the next assembly election from the district.

The opposition party had demanded a "third party inquiry by a Central government agency" into the attack.

Reddy had himself later written to Governor ESL Narasimhan raising concerns over the Police probe and sought his intervention to transfer the case to an agency not under the control of the state government.

He had claimed that there were serious concerns that the police probing the case was being "motivated and driven" by the state government to suit its needs.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who also heads the TDP, had targeted the Centre over the incident.

"The airport is under the Government of India's control. If something happened outside, the state government would have been responsible, but since it happened inside whose responsibility is it?" he had asked.

Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu had condemned the "cowardly attack" on Reddy and asked all agencies concerned to probe the matter thoroughly.

The Police commissioner Wednesday claimed it was a security lapse on part of the CISF since seven people were allowed to enter the lounge without any valid pass.

The SIT examined 92 witnesses and verified 321 contacts listed in Rao's mobile phone and found he had prepared himself for the attack for over 40 days.

Rao had planned to attack Reddy on 18 October itself, but the YSRC chief had advanced his departure by a day, Laddha said.

One of the witnesses, Shiekh Ammaji, a friend of the accused, told the SIT personnel that on 12 October, Rao had confided with her that very soon he would become very popular and would be seen on television channels and news about him would be carried by newspapers all over the country, he said.

According to her, the accused had spoken to her many times about his dream to become an MLA or MP. The commissioner also said, prior to the attack, Rao took help from his two friends to draft a 10-page letter, wherein he had mentioned a series of issues plaguing the people of the state.

On the day of the attack, he added another page to it, stating that if he was killed in his mission, no one was to be blamed and his body should be donated for research.

Laddha said Rao had managed to get closer to Reddy under the pretext of taking a photograph with him. He had asked one of his colleagues, who was known to an office assistant in the local office of YSRC, to arrange for the photo op.

While Reddy was in conversation with former MLA Karanam Dharmasri, Rao came from behind and attacked him.

Rao, charged with attempt to murder, is under judicial custody now.

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Updated Date: Jan 02, 2019 23:46:38 IST