HYDERABAD: A judicial inquiry has been ordered by the government into the brutal murder of Moddu Seenu, a key accused in the killing of Paritala Ravi, in Anantapur jail on Sunday with a view “to conveying to the people that the government was sincere in identifying the real culprits”. The inquiry will be conducted by a retired judge whose name as well as the terms of reference for the probe will be announced soon.
Announcing this decision at a press conference here on Wednesday, Home Minister K. Jana Reddy said the government was not in a position to institute an inquiry by a sitting judge sought by the Opposition as the High Court had refused to spare the services of its judges for such inquiries in the past.
Declining to answer questions relating to investigation into Moddu Seenu’s murder, Mr. Reddy said the Director-General of Prisons had undertaken a routine visit to Anantapur jail a few days earlier. He insisted that the police were making sincere investigation but the government felt that a judicial probe would be in order since Telugu Desam president N. Chandrababu Naidu was spreading “untruth to mislead the public in order to derive political mileage”. “Mr. Naidu is repeating his charge with the belief that a charge, if repeated, will invariably be believed by people. The government has nothing to hide. It facilitated a second post-mortem on the body of Seenu and took prompt action against jail officials,” he said.
The Home Minister recalled that during his nine-year tenure as Chief Minister, Mr. Naidu had ordered only one such inquiry by a sitting judge, and that, at the instance of the High Court, into the Yeleru scam. Thirteen probes by retired judges were ordered during Mr. Naidu’s period and seven by CBI. The Rajasekhara Reddy government had ordered 10 inquiries by sitting judges and 21 by the CBI.