The Andhra Pradesh police have filed a case against a Telugu news channel over a report alleging foul play by the Ambani brothers Mukesh and Anil in the death of former chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy.
The police have already begun a probe and are collecting evidence, including video tapes of the news footage beamed by TV5 that alleged that the Ambani brothers were behind the helicopter crash in which Reddy was killed on September 2, last year.
The report last night triggered an attack by Reddy's supporters on business outlets of companies led by Mukesh and Anil, and the two groups separately accused each other of fuelling the allegations.
Mukesh-led Reliance Industries today denied the allegations and called them "malicious" and "motivated" and said that it was the "dirty handiwork of our business rivals in cohoots with TV5."
The Anil Ambani-led Reliance group said: "A malicious and criminal disinformation campaign has been engaged into by our corporate rivals leading to substantial loss and damage to our several offices and businesses of Reliance ADA Group in Andhra Pradesh yesterday evening.
"We are shocked to see our corporate rivals stooping down to new levels of desperation by engaging in such imaginative and baseless rumor-mongering."
According to a senior police official, a case has been registered suo-motu against the Telugu news channel TV5.
Andhra Pradesh DGP R R Girish Kumar termed the attacks on Reliance outlets as unfortunate and warned that they will deal tough with arsonists.
"We are confident that the authorities would take appropriate action against those corporate elements engaging in such criminal acts of disinformation," the Anil Ambani group said in a statement.
Jubilee Hills police said the case was registered last night on the grounds of inciting ill-feeling among a section of people under Sections 153 (A) and 505 (2) of IPC, and Section 16 of Cable Network Regulation Act.
"We are collecting the tapes of the video footage shown by the channel and same will be sent for forensic examination to AP State Forensic Laboratory," a senior police officer said.
Most of the Reliance outlets and establishments were closed on Friday in the state capital and across the state on advice by the state police.