The Andhra Pradesh police on Sunday claimed that suspended IPS officer AB Venkateshwara Rao pressurised his then subordinate officers to falsely implicate Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy and his family in the murder of his uncle and former MP YS Vivekananda Reddy.
Rao, as the then intelligence chief of state police, pressurised then Superintendent of Police of Kadapa district Rahul Dev Sharma and other officers to implicate Jagan Mohan Reddy and his family in the murder case, officials claimed.
The police dismissed the allegations by the suspended IPS officer. Deputy Inspector General (Technical services) Palaraju, former SP Rahul Dev Sharma and representative of IPS officerâ€™s association Ammireddy addressed a news conference to deny the allegations levelled by the former intelligence chief of the state police.
In a nine-page letter to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) director, Venkateshwara Rao had alleged that the important information pertaining to the murder of Vivekananda Reddy was ignored.
The police officials said the timeline of the case exposed ABV. "For 15 days after the murder, ABV was running the entire investigation and passing orders to the then Kadapa SP and others. Why didn't he use important information that he had on the murder when he was an active part of the investigation?" asked Palaraju.
"While leaving, it is mandatory for any officer to disclose every single detail to the successor. Why didn't he do that? For three months after the murder, the then government was in power. Nine months after the present government took over also, the case was with us. Since the last one year, it has been with the CBI. What took ABV more than two years to come out with this information," the DIG wondered.
Questioning the manner in which the letter was made public and the timing of the same, the officer said when ABV was investigating the case, he tried to implicate Jagan Mohan Reddy, who was then the Leader of Opposition.
"Even today, if he actually wants to provide evidence, he could do so in sealed cover to the CBI. Why does he have to go to the media? That shows the intention," the officer said.
Venkateshwara Rao was suspended in February 2020 on charges of violating the All-India Services rules, a few months after Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSRCP came to power in the state.
Vivekananda Reddy, a former state minister and a former MP was found murdered at his residence in Kadapa on March 15, 2019, a few days before the election. The 68-year-old leader was alone at his house when unidentified persons barged in and killed him. He was killed hours before he was to launch YSRCP's election campaign in Kadapa.
Though three Special Investigation Teams (SITs) conducted the probe they failed to solve the mystery. On the direction of Andhra Pradesh High court, the CBI in July last year began a probe into the case.
Vivekananda Reddy's daughter N Suneetha Reddy early this month found fault with the delay in the probe by the CBI. She reiterated that she has doubts about some of her family members.