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Andhra Pradesh ex-minister killing: CBI presents YS Sharmila as ‘secret witness’ in YS Vivekananda Reddy’s murder case

According to the charge sheet, Sharmila’s testimony has corroborated the agency’s theory that YSRCP’s Kadapa MP YS Avinash Reddy (second cousin of Jagan and YS Sharmila) and his father Bhaskar Reddy are the main accused in this murder case and political motives were the reason for the killing. 

The CBI’s second and final chargesheet in the high-profile murder case of Former Andra Pradesh Minister YS Vivekananda Reddy was made public on the 20th of July. In its chargesheet, the CBI revealed that its ‘secret witness’ in the case was none other than YS Sharmila. Notably, she is the younger sister of CM Jagan Mohan Reddy and the YSR Telangana party’s founder and President. 

The CBI chargesheet and her statement given before the CBI officials came out on Friday, 21st of July. In her statement, Sharmila stated that his paternal uncle Vivekananda Reddy wanted to ensure that Avinash Reddy doesn’t get a ticket from Kadapa in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. 

She categorically stressed that there is a link between the murder and his political moves targeting Avinash Reddy’s political chances. 

She added that there was a cold war-like situation between the two families of  Vivekananda and Avinash Reddy. It is important to note that both their families are closely related and Jagan’s wife Bharathi is the daughter of Bhaskar Reddy’s sister. 

Sharmila further revealed that her uncle Vivekananda had contested against YS Avinash Reddy earlier. According to her, Avinash’s family may have developed ill will against Vivekananda for these reasons.

Sharmila also told the CBI officials that her uncle had blamed Bhaskar Reddy, his brother Manohar Reddy and Avinash Reddy for his defeat in the Andhra Pradesh legislative council elections in 2017. She added that he then decided to teach them a lesson.

She said, “They might have kept this in their heart that this person (Vivekananda) was coming in their way. It may be a political murder or motive.” 

According to the charge sheet, Sharmila’s testimony has corroborated the agency’s theory that YSRCP’s Kadapa MP YS Avinash Reddy (second cousin of Jagan and YS Sharmila) and his father Bhaskar Reddy are the main accused in this murder case and political motives were the reason for the killing. 

As per the theory put forth by CBI, Avinash Reddy and his father Bhaskar wanted to eliminate Vivekananda as their families had been embroiled in a long-running political rivalry, however, this worsened over the Kadapa MP seat in 2019. Subsequently, the father-son duo allegedly hatched a plan to murder Vivekananda with their aide D Siva Shankar Reddy. Apparently, a few of Vivekananda’s closest aides including Yerra Gangi Reddy, Sunil Yadav, and Dastagir were also involved in this murder case. 

According to the CBI, Vivekananda informed Jagan that he should allocate the party’s ticket for the Kadapa seat to either his mother, YS Vijayamma, or his sister Sharmila. In her statement, Sharmila too confirmed this theory. 

She said that Vivekananda came to her two months before his murder and insisted that she agree to his proposal to keep Avinash and his family out of the fray. She claimed that she accepted his proposal despite the fact that she had apprehensions about whether his brother Jagan would give her the ticket.

In the 2011 by-polls, Vivekananda contested as the Congress candidate from Pulivendula assembly seat. YSRCP had fielded Vijayamma who won the seat. Later in the 2014 polls, Avinash was chosen as the Kadapa MP candidate. When Vivekananda thought that Jagan may not give him the seat for the 2019 polls, so he saw Vijayamma or Sharmila as alternatives to block Avinash’s bid for the ticket. 

Sharmila’s testimony to CBI was recorded on the 7th of October, 2022 at the CBI office in Delhi. On account of that, the CBI had earlier stated that it had convinced a key witness to corroborate its theory. In its final charge sheet, the central agency has charged both Avinash and his father Bhaskar Reddy for planning the murder and hiring four assailants. 

The political blame game

On the 15th of March 2019, YSRCP leader YS Vivekananda Reddy was brutally killed at his residence in the Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh. He was a former Minister, the young brother of Former Andra Pradesh CM YS Rajasekhara Reddy, and the paternal uncle of current Andra Pradesh CM Jagan Mohan Reddy. The CBI took over the case in July 2020.

Back then, YSCRP released a press note stating, “Preliminary conclusions of the post-mortem stated that YS Vivekananda Reddy had been murdered. The coroner’s report held that there were seven stab wounds on his body made by a sharp object.”

The Police added that the deceased suffered multiple injuries caused by a sharp weapon, probably an axe. 

At that time, YSRCP President Jagan Mohan Reddy blamed the TDP for his uncle’s murder. Demanding a CBI inquiry, he asserted that only a probe by an independent agency could reveal the truth. 

However, later Vivekananda’s daughter Suneetha asked the Andhra Pradesh High Court to allow for a CBI inquiry. She claimed that AP CM Jagan was unwilling to pursue it. 

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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