Jagan Reddy’s attacker to remain in jail as family fears threat to his life
Janepalli Srinivasa Rao, the man who attacked leader of opposition in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly YS Jagan Mohan Reddy with a knife is likely to remain in judicial custody for up to six months with the family refusing to apply for bail for him.
The move comes amid anticipation of threat to his life, his lawyer said. Srinivasa, who works at a canteen at the Visakhapatnam airport, had shot to fame for the wrong reasons when he attacked Yuvajana Sramika Rytu Congress (YSRC) chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy at the Visakhapatnam airport.
Srinivasa was immediately overpowered by the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel and later handed over to the local police.
Srinivasa Rao has been in judicial custody for the last 103 days and has been lodged in the Rajahmundry central jail since the attack on October 25, 2018. As per the legal provisions, after being in judicial custody for 90 days, he is entitled to bail.
“He (Srinivasa Rao) requested me to help him come out from jail as early as possible when I met him last month,” his brother Subba Raju, of Thanelanka in East Godavari district, told Hindustan Times.
Raju said his brother is quite likely to be targeted from both sides - the followers of Jagan Mohan Reddy and those of chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, who is accused of having engineered the attack to eliminate Reddy. The TDP, in turn, alleged that it was all stage-managed by Jagan Reddy to boost his image before the elections.
Srinivasa’s lawyer, Salim, said he had given up the attempts to move bail petition in keeping with the request of Srinivasa’s family. He said Srinivasa can remain in judicial custody for a period of up to six months.
The court had given Srinivasa’s custody to the Special Investigation Team (SIT), that was constituted by the Andhra police to probe the high-profile attack, for six days. Quoting Srinivasa Rao as having told him, Salim said he was subjected to torture during his custody in the SIT.
Later, the court had granted Srinivasa’s custody to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for seven days with the rider that the NIA’s interrogation be conducted in Salim’s presence.
The attack on Jagan Reddy triggered a war of words between the ruling TDP and YSRC. Expressing disbelief over the ability of Andhra police to ensure an impartial probe, Jagan Reddy approached Union home minister Rajnath Singh and sought a probe by any central agency.