Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police (DGP) RP Thakur on Thursday claimed that the accused who attacked YSRCP President YS Jaganmohan Reddy was a ‘fan’ of the political leader. Jagan sustained a minor injury after a knife attack inside the Visakhapatnam airport by a man who asked him for a selfie.
“According to preliminary investigation, he is claiming to be a fan of Jagan. As and when further details come, we will inform the media,” the DGP told reporters in a press meet, hours after the attack.
The DGP said that the accused was an Intermediate dropout and had been working at a restaurant at the airport for the past one year.
“At around 12 pm, Jagan was at Vizag airport to catch a flight at 1 pm to Hyderabad. He went to the VIP lounge where at around 12:30 pm, coffee was served to him by 30-year-old Srinivas Rao, a native of Thanelanka village in East Godavari District’s Mummidivaram mandal,” the DGP said.
“He asked for a selfie and while clicking the picture with his left hand, he pulled out the weapon from his pocket with his right hand and attacked Jagan on his left hand causing injury. CISF Assistant Commander Dinesh Kumar was present on the spot along with Jagan’s gunmen. There were party workers as well. They caught him immediately and handed him over to the CISF, who searched him and then handed him over to the police,” he added.
A case has been registered and the investigation is ongoing, and the police are trying to establish motive.
“The attacker is in our custody and a 9 to 10 page letter was found in his pocket. We will find out the reason. It appears that he has done so for publicity. Inside the airport, the CISF is responsible for security. The Andhra Pradesh police does not have jurisdiction. We will coordinate with them and investigate how the weapon managed to find its way inside the airport as it is a sanitised space. We are investigating all angles,” the DGP said adding, “We provide security to every citizen without any bias.”
The incident triggered tension at the Vizag airport as scores of YSRCP activists gathered outside shouting slogans against Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu and the TDP government.
Speaking to the media, a family member of the attacker said that Srinivas had erected a flexi for Jagan recently during a festival. Saying that the family was troubled on hearing the news, he added that he couldn’t believe that Srinivas would have attacked Jagan.
Meanwhile, Jagan reached Hyderabad airport at about 2.30 p.m. He was received by his wife YS Bharathi and other family members as well as YSRCP leaders.
A large number of Jagan’s supporters gathered at the airport, raising slogans in his support. The CISF and police had a tough time controlling the crowd. Jagan was escorted to his car amid tight security and later left for his residence in the city.
The YSRCP chief, who is on a state-wide ‘padyatra’ for nearly a year, visits Hyderabad every Friday to attend court proceedings in an ongoing disproportionate assets case.
With IANS inputs