Thursday, July 18, 2024

Chinks galore in CBI probe into Viveka murder?

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PNS | Vijayawada

In the backdrop of pending judgment by the Supreme Court on the petition to cancel T Gangi Reddy’s bail, many questions were raised by political circles on the manner in which the investigation into the death of YS Vivekananda Reddy, former MP, and brother of former chief minister of unified Andhra Pradesh YS Rajasekhara Reddy, is going on.

Political circles are pointing out that by the time Gangi Reddy got bail, there was no proper investigation and not much key information about the murder came out. However, many key points tumbled out after Gangi Reddy got the default bail. Narco tests were done on the suspects Gangi Reddy, B Ranganna (watchman), and P Chandrasekhar Reddy at Gandhinagar, Gujarat from August 7 to 24, 2019. As part of the exercise, polygraph and brain mapping tests were also conducted.

Though three years have elapsed since then, narco test results have not been made public. Whether the CBI is considering them or not is yet to be known.Apparently, taking advantage of the situation in the aftermath of Vivekananda Reddy’s murder, TDP has targeted the YSRCP leaders and the YSR family instead of bringing pressure on the State government to identify and bring the culprits to justice. The Opposition party even tried its best to implicate some YSRCP leaders in the case.

The YSRCP alleged that the then chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu used the then Intelligence chief AB Venkateswara Rao in what it called a conspiracy to malign the image of some of its leaders.

Suspecting the role of Venkateswara Rao in the entire episode, the YSRCP alleged that he had tried his best to implicate Kadapa MP YS Avinash Reddy in the case under the instructions of the then CM Chandrababu Naidu. As part of this conspiracy, Vivekananda’s Personal Assistant M V Krishna Reddy was arrested as an accused in the case. 

The pressure was brought on Krishna Reddy to depose against Avinash Reddy, it is alleged.
Subsequently, Chandrababu Naidu made the issue one of the TDP’s poll planks in 2019 and campaigned that YSRCP was involved in the murder of Vivekananda.

Interestingly, YS Suneetha has never raised an accusing finger at either Avinash Reddy or any other YSRCP leader. At a press conference at the Hyderabad Press Club on March 27, 2019, she went on record saying that there are 700 members in the YS family and there were no differences among them whatsoever. She also made it clear that her father had made efforts till the end of his life to ensure that her cousin YS Jagan Mohan Reddy become the chief minister. She also said Vivekananda had campaigned for Avinash Reddy’s success in the elections till the end. Accusing Adinarayana Reddy as a suspect in her father’s murder case, Suneetha wondered why the TDP government had failed to arrest him.

Why did Suneetha change tack?

Political sources pointed that in view of the disputes that have arisen over the property after Vivekananda Reddy’s demise, a lot of aspects in his personal life like his second marriage, his interest in diamonds and other issues came to the fore. When Vivekananda Reddy was alive, his family feared that he would bequeath some of his property to his second wife, so they denied him the cheque power in the bank accounts.

When YSRCP came to power and the SIT officials started collecting personal details of Vivekananda Reddy, all of a sudden Suneetha and her family changed their stance fearing the disputes in the family would come to the fore and then joining hands with the people against whom she had leveled charges.

Then she protested against the SIT proceedings at a time when the case was in the final stage. The AP government was surprised at Suneetha’s move, but it welcomed the CBI investigation into the case as per the court orders. According to YSRCP, surprisingly, Suneetha later started leveling charges against Avinash Reddy and his family members.

LACUNAE IN CBI PROBE

Going by the manner in which the CBI is going about its probe, it appears that there are several shortfalls in the handling of the sensitive case. Firstly, the Central investigating agency does not appear to have taken the conspiracy of Parameshwar Reddy seriously.

Parameshwar Reddy complained of a heart ailment and joined the hospital on March 13, 2019.  He allegedly gave the slip and had a clandestine meeting with B Tech Ravi at Hotel Haritha in Kadapa. However, CC camera footage showed him talking over the phone around 3 a.m. on March 14, 2019. Secondly, the CBI had failed to probe why the letter, purportedly written by Vivekananda Reddy, and cell phones were not handed over to the police.Thirdly, the fingerprints collected from the outer surface of the rear door of the bathroom of Vivekananda did not match with those of the accused and others in the neighbourhood. Fourthly, the CBI failed to collect and link the Aadhaar and passport details of the accused as part of the investigation.

Fifth, the way the CBI is handling watchman Rangaiah and one of the accused Dastagiri is also raised an eyebrow. Sixth, Yarra Gangi Reddy the CBI says the prime accused in the case Gangi Reddy was at the residence of Vivekananda Reddy on the day of the murder.

However, as per the Internet Protocol Data Records (IPDR), he was very much at his home. According to IPDR, even Umashankar Reddy was at his home on the fateful night.
All these are pointers to the haphazard manner in which the probe into Vivekananda Reddy’s murder case is progressing and give credence to the view that there are many grey areas that need to be addressed effectively.

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