YSR Congress chief Jagan Reddy sent to judicial custody
YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy was on Monday sent to 14-day judicial custody till June 11 by a CBI court in Hyderabad in connection with the disproportionate assets case.
This means Reddy will not be able to campaign for the crucial by-election on June 12.
Amidst unprecedented security, the Central Bureau of Investigation produced YSR Congress president and Kadapa parliamentarian Jaganmohan Reddy in the Nampally courts on Monday morning, charging him with looting public property. The CBI had sought his custody for 14 days. Jagan is accused number one in the assets case. He was arrested on Sunday evening by the CBI after three days of questioning.
Senior CBI counsel Ashok Bhan alleged that YSR Congress chief Jaganmohan Reddy "sent (bribe amount) abroad and got it reinvested in his business through hawala racket". "Jagan never cooperated in the investigation during the three-day questioning period in true sense," the CBI counsel alleged. "Jagan can no longer masquerade as a victim of the CBI probe. He has robbed public properties. Investments to the tune of Rs 1234 crore have been made in his (Jagan's) companies and he himself got enriched by Rs 300 crore. There are certain traces and he did not cooperate on the same," Bhan alleged.
"It is a white collar crime committed by 74 accused, including Jagan, and so far charge sheets have been filed against 24 accused. All the accused in custody (industrialist N Prasad, senior bureaucrat K V Brahmananda Reddy) have revealed certain glaring facts about the case and we have to confront Jagan on the information provided," Ashok Bhan appearing for the CBI told principal special judge A Pullaiah. The CBI was responding to the YSR Congress chief's charge on the morning of his arrest to a private news channel that he was a victim of the investigative agency which continued to question him on the same issues despite him giving the replies and cooperating with them.
Apart from Jagan, the other accused in the assets case, including his financial auditor V Vijay Sai Reddy, Vanpic promoter Nimmagadda Prasad and bureaucrat K V Brahmananda Reddy also appeared before the principal special judge in response to the summons issued by the court. Mopidevi Venkata Ramana, former excise minister and another accused in the case, did not make his appearance.
The CBI convoy carrying Jagan left Dilkusha Guest House, the makeshift office of the investigative agency where he was lodged for the night after his arrest the previous day, a little before 10 am for the Nampally courts about 5 kms away where an unprecedented security deployment was in place. At about the same time, Jagan's mother and Pulivendula MLA Y S Vijayamma along with a few family members staged a 'dharna' (sit-in) in protest against her son's arrest in front of their Lotus Pond residence in Jubilee Hills. The police claimed that she did not have permission to hold a sit-in protest, indicating that she could be arrested in a short while.
Meanwhile, the 'bandh' (shutdown) called by the YSR Congress in protest against Jagan's arrest was by and large peaceful and partial across the state. Most parts of Rayalaseema including Jagan's native district Kadapa observed the shutdown while it was partial in the Andhra region and largely ignored in the Telangana region. In Hyderabad, the shutdown was partial barring stray incidents of stone pelting on state road transport buses.
- Asian Tribune -