Intelligence failure and security lapses led to attack on Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy, say senior police officers

The rope party was not close to the Chief Minister, and the Special Branch and Intelligence officers failed to unravel the conspiracy, they allege; court grants three days police custody to the accused

April 24, 2024 08:05 pm | Updated 08:55 pm IST - VIJAYAWADA

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy with an injury on his forehead.

Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy with an injury on his forehead. | Photo Credit: File Photo

Did Intelligence failure and lack of adequate security made it easy for the accused to target Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy during a roadshow in Vijayawada recently?

“Perhaps, yes,” say senior police officers.

Not satisfied with the explanation given by the NTR Commissionerate Police on the incident, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had on Tuesday transferred Director General (Intelligence) P. Sitaramanjaneyulu and Police Commissioner Kanthi Rana Tata.

The ECI had also directed the government not to assign any election-related works to the two police officers.

“The police observed security lapses in the Chief Minister’s programme at the Dhabakotlu Centre. The rope party was not close to the Chief Minister and the Special Branch and Intelligence officers failed to detect the conspiracy,” a police officer told The Hindu on April 24 (Wednesday).

A daily wager, Vemula Satish Kumar, alias Satti, had allegedly hurled a sharp edged stone on the Chief Minister while he was participating in the ‘Memantha Siddham’ election campaign at the Dhabakotlu Centre in Vijayawada on April 13.

Following a complaint lodged by MLA Velampalli Srinivas, who too suffered injury in the incident, the Ajitsingh Nagar police registered a case under Section 307 IPC (Attempt to Murder).

The police, who were clueless initially, zeroed in on Satish Kumar of Vaddera Colony, who allegedly hurled the stone.

Satish Kumar, who celebrated his birthday along with his friends the same day, attended the ‘Memamtha Siddham’ roadshow and resorted to the attack, which caused injury to the Chief Minister on his forehead.

“We suspect that an auto driver, Vemula Durga Rao, of the same locality, who is a TDP sympathiser, had instigated Satish Kumar,” an investigation officer said.

“Power was shut down at the Dhabakotlu Centre to pave way for the Chief Minister’s bus to pass by as per the security protocol. The accused executed his plan in the dark at 8.04 p.m. and escaped,” the officer said.

Special Investigation Team (SIT) officers said the accused threw the stone from a distance of about 25 feet. Later, the accused and Durga Rao fled the spot.

Innocent youth booked: advocate

Meanwhile, Satish Kumar’s advocate, Saleem, said there was no evidence to prove that Satish and Durga Rao were behind the attack. He said the police booked innocent youth in the case.

Meanwhile, the court on Wednesday granted three days police custody to the accused. The police will question Satish Kumar in the presence of his advocate from Thursday.

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