A daylight murder of democracy aimed at stifling my media units: YSR Congress chief

The Central Bureau of Investigation further closed in on Kadapa MP Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy by freezing the bank accounts of three key companies running a newspaper, a television channel and infrastructure business on Tuesday.

A day after the court issued summons to Mr. Reddy to appear before it on May 28, the CBI sent notices to the State Bank of India (Banjara Hills branch) and Oriental Bank of Commerce (Jubilee Hills) asking their managers to “freeze and prohibit all operations” of the accounts of Jagati Publications Limited (‘Sakshi'), Indira Television Ltd (‘Sakshi TV') and Janani Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. under Section 102 of the Cr. PC.

The notices were sent by Superintendent of Police, CBI, H. Venkatesh, who is the chief investigating officer in the illegal assets case against Mr. Reddy, now being heard in the special court for CBI cases.

Mr. Venkatesh said: “These companies have been maintaining accounts with your bank and parked the ill-gotten proceeds of crime received from various sources under the guise of funds for conducting business.”

At the outset, the CBI justified its action on the ground that the A.P. High Court had directed it in a writ petition to register a case and conduct a thorough investigation in all aspects of financial misdeeds involving government largesse and corporate dealing as part of a quid pro quo arrangement.

All the three companies whose bank accounts were frozen have been named in the FIR filed by the CBI, but only Jagati Publications that runs ‘Sakshi' daily has been included in the charge sheet.

The CBI has so far filed three charge sheets against Mr. Reddy and others in the illegal assets case. The YSR Congress president, who is campaigning for his party candidate in the by-elections in the Rayadurg constituency in Anantapur district, said he had anticipated the CBI's action. He described it as “a daylight murder of democracy aimed at stifling my media units. Having failed to take me on politically, they are hatching a conspiracy against me.”