Fearing a likely arrest, YSR Congress Party leader YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Thursday applied for anticipatory bail in the Hyderabad CBI court, in the alleged illegal assets case.
The move comes ahead of his appearance before the CBI for questioning on May 25. Jaganmohan Reddy fears that the CBI may arrest him during questioning and this may prevent him from going ahead with campaigning for the ensuing by-elections for 18 assembly and one Lok sabha seat.
On Wednesday, the Andhra Pradesh High court had turned down his plea to delay the CBI questioning till June 15 on the ground that he was busy in campaigning for the by-elections.
Keeping law and order in view police in Hyderabad has imposed prohibitory orders.
The prohibitory orders under section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, banning assembly of five or more persons, came into force at 6 am on Thursday.
Hyderabad police commissioner Anurag Sharma said the orders would be in force till May 29. There will be no permission for meetings, rallies and processions during the period.
Police have launched checking of vehicles and frisking of people, especially at the entry points into the city.
The police commissioner said they had reliable information that "in view of forthcoming by-elections certain political parties are likely to organise large number of supporters in Hyderabad city limits, taking advantage of some local events to derive political advantage".
In the emotionally charged atmosphere, large-scale mobilisation of people is likely to adversely affect maintenance of law and order, the police chief said.
Jaganmohan Reddy has alleged that a conspiracy was hatched by Congress government in collusion with the opposition Telugu Desam Party and the CBI to arrest him.
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh two days ago, the young leader also claimed that a conspiracy was also conceived to trigger riots after his arrest and throw the blame on him.
The CBI on Wednesday issued notices to Jagan asking him to appear before it. The Andhra Pradesh High Court also had rejected a petition by him seeking exemption from appearance.
The son of late chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy was already issued summons by the CBI court, directing him to appear in the court on May 28. His petition seeking exemption from personal appearance was also dismissed by the court.
Jagan is accused of conspiring with his father to dole out favours to companies which invested in his businesses in a quid pro quo arrangement.
with HT inputs