CM Jagan s plea for deeper probe in rooster knife attack case dismissed

In a setback case to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy, the NIA court here on Tuesday dismissed a petition filed on his behalf for a deeper probe into the 2018 knife attack on him at Visakhapatnam Airport.

Rejecting the petition filed by Jagan Mohan Reddy’s counsel, the court adjourned to August 1 hearing on another petition by the Chief Minister seeking exemption from personal appearance in the case.

He had requested the court that he be allowed to appear through video conference.

The court also adjourned accused J. Srinivasa Rao’s bail petition to August 1.

The accused, who is in jail for more than four years, sought release on bail. He is currently lodged in Rajamahendravaram Central Jail.

In April, the National Investigation (NIA) told the court that there was no conspiracy behind the knife attack. The NIA had filed the counter affidavit on Jagan Mohan Reddy’s petition, seeking further investigation into the case.

The agency told the court that Harshvardhan, the owner of the airport restaurant, was not affiliated to any political party. Srinivas Rao, a worker at the restaurant had attacked Jagan Mohan Reddy with a ‘kodi katti’, or a small knife used in cockfights, at Visakhapatnam Airport on October 25, 2018.

Jagan Mohan Reddy, then the Leader of Opposition, had suffered injury on his arm.

Earlier, the NIA court had directed Jagan Mohan Reddy to appear and record his statement. He, however, sought exemption from personal appearance on the ground that he has to discharge his duties as the Chief Minister and also on the ground that his appearance in the court may lead to traffic jam around the court premises and thus, inconvenience the people.

He had requested the court to appoint an advocate commissioner to record his statement.

After the attack, the then TDP government had handed over the case to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the state police but Jagan Mohan Reddy had refused to record his statement saying he had no trust in agencies controlled by the state government.

Suspecting a conspiracy by the TDP, the YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) had moved the state. High court, seeking a probe by a central agency into the case. Based on the court direction, the Centre handed over the case to the NIA on December 31, 2018 and. The agency registered the case on January 1, 2019.

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