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Stone pelting attack on Jagan being investigated as attempted murder; YSRCP & TDP exchange blows

Vijayawada city police in Andhra Pradesh have rounded up four to five suspects in the stone pelting case against Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and will be investigating the offence from the angle of an 'attempt to murder' case, said an official on Sunday.
Last Updated : 14 April 2024, 17:08 IST
Last Updated : 14 April 2024, 17:08 IST

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Amaravati: Vijayawada city police in Andhra Pradesh have rounded up four to five suspects in the stone pelting case against Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy and will be investigating the offence from the angle of an 'attempt to murder' case, said an official on Sunday.

Unidentified miscreants hurled a stone at the Chief Minister on Saturday night near Vivekananda School Centre in Vijayawada's Singh Nagar, which injured his left temple when he was canvassing for polls.

The stone was hurled at a high speed, leading to a small cut. Vijayawada police commissioner Kanthi Ratan Tata said a case has been booked under IPC Section 307 (attempt to murder).

"We have identified some suspects. We are interrogating them and that process is going on now. Four to five suspects. Case has been registered under IPC Section 307," Tata told PTI.

Further, he highlighted that a Special Investigation Team (SIT) has been formed with six officers and four policemen, who are scrutinising video footage and technical data to identify the stone pelters.

According to Tata, a stone which could fit in a palm was hurled at the CM, which first hit him and then struck former minister and YSRCP leader V Srinivas, who stood beside him.

The police commissioner said all the suspects are locals and exuded confidence that the real culprits could be identified in a couple of days.

On Sunday, the YSRCP and TDP leaders engaged in a war of words over this incident. YSRCP General Secretary S Ramakrishna Reddy claimed that the attack was a premeditated cold-blooded one on the CM. "Who would have planned such an attempt? It stems from the insecurity that the TDP is experiencing as they are witnessing the response our leader is getting through the poll campaign, through the roadshows and 'siddham sabhas' (meetings)," he said, addressing a press conference.

Ramakrishna Reddy alleged that TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu had recently instigated a crowd in his 'prajagalam' (canvassing) meetings to attack Jagan and claimed that Naidu and his party would benefit if the YSRCP chief could not mingle with the masses.

"This leads us to presume that the TDP and their leader (Naidu) are responsible for the attack," he said, adding that the injury is a fact and its location sensitive. Further, he claimed that the opposition party is trying to downplay the incident due to the "fear of exposure" and also resorting to making inhumane comments.

Meanwhile, YSRCP Nellore Lok Sabha candidate V Vijayasai Reddy alleged that Naidu "never engaged in politics believing in development". "It has been proven again that he (Naidu) engages in cowardly politics, believing in violence and conspiracies," said Vijayasai Reddy in a post on social media platform X.

Ruling party leaders, ministers and others castigated Naidu and the TDP, claiming that the opposition party was involved in the attack on the CM.

Chandrababu Naidu condemned the attack on Reddy. "I strongly condemn the attack on Jagan. I request the Election Commission of India (ECI) to initiate an impartial and unbiased inquiry into the incident and punish the responsible officials," he said in a post on X.

However, the TDP alleged that the attack on Jagan Mohan Reddy was stage-managed. Backing Naidu's appeal to the Election Commission to undertake an impartial and unbiased probe into the attack, TDP spokesperson Pattabhiram Kommareddy questioned the timing and circumstances of the attack.

"It only tends to raise a question about the validity of an act like this when it is so coincidental, yet in sync. It wouldn't be the first time that the YSRCP has staged such an act, much like the infamous 'kodi kathi' drama, not only for sympathy but to also create confusion and unrest, right when the elections are around the corner," Kommareddy alleged.

Condemning the attack on the CM, Andhra Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) President Y S Sharmila said she believes it was accidental. However, if it was not so, she said, everybody should condemn it. Sharmila said she is praying to God for the quick recovery of her elder brother Jagan.

Meanwhile, a delegation of YSRCP leaders lodged a complaint with the Election Commission over the incident, alleging that the attack was executed with the intention to "murder" the CM.

Jagan is unperturbed by the attack, said Ramakrishna Reddy. The CM paused his bus tour on Sunday to take rest and is expected to resume it on Monday from Kesarapalle in the NTR District.

Elections for the 175-member Assembly and 25 Lok Sabha seats in Andhra Pradesh are scheduled on May 13 and the counting of votes will be held on June 4.

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Published 14 April 2024, 17:08 IST

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