The Andhra Pradesh High Court on Wednesday said that the Special Investigation Team (SIT) constituted by the state government, to probe the murder of senior YSRCP leader YS Vivekananda Reddy, could go ahead with its investigation.
The court was hearing petitions by former state minister Adinarayana Reddy and TDP MLC B Ravi, who had sought a CBI probe into the murder. The petitioners pointed out that the family of Vivekananda Reddy had also suspected foul play initially.
Adinarayana Reddy was one of the people summoned by the SIT for questioning related to the case, in December this year. Vivekananda Reddy's daughter, Dr Sunitha, had earlier said that she suspects his role as he was the Lok Sabha MP candidate from Kadapa for the TDP, while her father was an aspirant for the ticket, from the YSRCP.
However, Vivekananda's wife, Sowbhagya, had earlier moved court, stating that there was no development in the SIT investigation. She also demanded a CBI probe.
In its response, the government informed the court that the investigation was already in its final stages. According to reports, the SIT has examined 62 witnesses in the case so far, but is yet to announce any concrete leads on who the real culprits were.
Directing Advocate General S Sriram to file a counter affidavit to Sowbhagya's petition by January 19, the court posted the case for further hearing to January 20.
In December, denying a role in the murder and alleging harassment by the YSR family, Adinarayana Reddy had said, ‚ÄúIf I have done something wrong, let them encounter me or hang me.‚ÄĚ
Vivekananda Reddy, a former MP, was murdered on March 15, 2019 at his home in Pulivendula. The incident had triggered a huge uproar in the state which was witnessing intense political battles as part of the elections.
While initially it was believed that the politician had suffered a cardiac arrest and succumbed, police confirmed after investigation that the two-time MP was murdered. Vivekananda had injury marks on his head, hands and back.
Vivekananda Reddy was elected from Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency on a Congress ticket in 1999 and 2004. He was twice elected to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly (1989, 1994) from Pulivendula, a family stronghold.