The CBI has intensfied its investigation into the macabre murder of former Congress minister Y S Vivekananda Reddy, younger brother of late former CM Y S Rajasekhara Reddy and uncle of Jagan Mohan Reddy.
On Wednesday, the CBI sleuths interrogated Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy’s close aide Devireddy Shiva Shankar Reddy. The Pulivendula leader of the Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party was interrogated in Kadapa central jail in connection with the murder of Vivekananda Reddy wo was found murdered on March 14, 2019 at his residence.
Devireddy Shiva Shankar Reddy was taken into custody along with three others including his close relative and former MP Y S Avinash Reddy. In 2019, both were interrogated by the Special Investigation Team constituted to probe the murder of Viveka.
After Devireddy Shankar Reddy, the CBI sleuths are expected to grill Avinash Reddy who is reportedly called up by the police to inform that Y S Vivekananda Reddy had died of heart attack.
The CBI is also expected to interrogate TDP MLC Ravindranath Reddy, alias B Tech Ravi, a close aide of the slain leader. Further, India’s top investigating agency will be questioning three-time MLA and former minister C Adinarayana Reddy. Ahead of 2019 elections, Adinarayana Reddy quit TDP to join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He is elder brother of former MLC C Narayana Reddy who was earlier questioned by the SIT.
Earlier, the police had arrested Vivekananda Reddy’s close aide Parmeshwar Reddy, personal assistant (PA) Krishna Reddy, Yerra Gangi Reddy and Chandrasekhar Reddy. At least three of them were arrested on charges of tampering with evidence such as shifting Viveka’s body from bathroom to bedroom, cleaning blood stains in the bedroom in an attempt to erase material evidence. They were also held responsible for shifting the body from the scene of offence to the hospital mortuary.
The CBI had discussed the case details with slain leader’s wife Sowbhagyamma and his daughter Sunitha. The CBI officers had conducted a thorough search of Vivekananda’s Pulivendula residence to find more clues.
Nearly 16 months after the murder of Viveka, the CBI began its investigation into the murder on July 18. The CBI slueths have already taken all the details of the case from the Special Investigation Team (SIT) which was set up by the previous government to probe the murder. The SIT has handed over the files and records related to the murder of the slain Congress leader to the CBI slueths.
The previous government had constituted three SITs to probe the murder. At least 1,300 witnesses were examined and narco analysis was conducted on three suspects. With the SIT probe making no headway, Sowbhagyamma and Sunitha petitioned the High Court sought a CBI probe into the murder citing the tardy progress of SIT investigation. On March 10, 2020, the Andhra Pradesh High Court entrusted the investigation to the CBI.
Nearly a year after Jagan Mohan Reddy became the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, the CBI investigation did not make any headway into the murder of 68-year-old Vivekananda Reddy who was hacked to death by unidentified assailants inside his house. Viveka, as he was popularly known, was murdered ahead of the assembly and parliamentary elections. Viveka had served as a former minister, two-time MLA and a two-time MP.