Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Friday shot off a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, over the National Investigation Agency (NIA) taking over the case relating to the knife attack on YSRCP President YS Jaganmohan Reddy at Visakhapatnam Airport on October 25.
â€śI am constrained to express my concern at the manner in which Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), Government of India issued orders directing the investigation by NIA in connection with the attack of Jaganmohanâ€¦It is with regret and anguish I am to say that the Union Government is bringing down the sanctity and autonomy of every institution with particular reference to the manner in which the Home Ministry entrusted the investigation to the NIA without dealing with the objections furnished by the state government in this regard,â€ť Naidu said in his letter.
Jagan was injured when Srinivas, a worker at the airport canteen, attacked him with a cockfight knife as the YSRCP chief was waiting to board a flight to Hyderabad. The Centre took the decision to hand over the case to NIA on December 31. The investigating agency on January 1 registered a case. The First Information Report (FIR) was registered on a complaint by an officer of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).
Jagan, who sustained a bleeding cut on his left upper arm, continued his journey and got admitted at a hospital in Hyderabad.
In his letter, the chief minister pointed out that the NIA Act, 2008 was conceived so that the NIA could take up specific cases that had complex inter-state or international ramifications.
â€śIt is incomprehensible, rather bewildering to reconcile with this order of the MHA in the backdrop of your words as the Chief Minister of Gujarat at the Conference of Police Chiefs in January 2009,â€ť the letter points out, before quoting Modi from the event, where the senior BJP leader had said, â€śBy setting up the NIA, the Centre obviously wants to take upon itself, the responsibility of fighting terror by side-tracking the states.â€ť
Naidu's letter came a day after the NIA took Srinivas into custody for a week.
The letter also pointed to a resolution passed by the BJP in June 2011 at its National Executive meet in Lucknow, where they had raised similar objections.
â€śIt is needless to mention that law and order is the fundamental responsibility and police function is the primary objective of any state. The Federal setup calls for a policy of non-interference in the subjects which are in the exclusive legislative domain of the state. The Centre-state relations are always to be cordial and the instant solution is one of outright bulldozing by the Centre with demonstrable degree of administrative impropriety,â€ť Naidu stated.
The letter also cited the Safety of Civil Aviation Act, 1982 and argues that the attack on Jagan could not be perceived as an offence attracting investigation by the NIA. â€śMore so, when the victim himself walked away without even reporting the same to the authorities concerned,â€ť the letter adds.
â€śIt is equally disturbing to look at the haste with which the FIR is registered in less than 24 hours by the NIA pursuant to the directions of the Centre for a case of negligible injury when compared to the delay and indifference exhibited by the Centre in dealing with the issue of assassination of two MLAs, one sitting and another former, at Visakhapatnam districts by extremists in September last year.
What Naidu was referring to, is the brutal murder of TDP MLA Kidari Sarveswara Rao and ex-MLA Siveri Soma allegedly by Naxals, which is presently being investigated by the NIA.
The two politicians were gunned down on September 23 last year after they attended a party programme, near Lipittuputtu village, about 15 km from the Odisha border, allegedly by members of the banned CPI (Maoist).
In view of all this, Naidu requested Modi to direct the Home Ministry to recall its orders.