The case was handed over to the CBI by the Andhra Pradesh High Court in March 2020.

YS Vivekananda ReddyFile Photo
Bitcoin and Crypto Crime Saturday, August 21, 2021 - 14:40

Days after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested a key accused in the murder case of former Member of Parliament (MP) YS Vivekananda Reddy, the agency has now announced a cash reward of Rs 5 lakh for information related to the case. In an advertisement carried in the Telugu newspaper ABN Andhrajyothy, the CBI announced a reward of Rs 5 lakh to anyone who provides reliable information on the crime. “We will keep the identity of the informant or informants confidential. We request someone from the common public to come forward to provide information,” the ad said, providing contact details of the investigating officer and supervising officer. 

The high profile murder of 68-year-old Vivekananda Reddy, who also happens to be Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy’s uncle, occurred days before the 2019 Andhra Pradesh Assembly election. The former MP was brutally killed by unidentified persons who had barged into his home in Kadapa in the early hours of March 15, 2019. At the time, Jagan, who was the Leader of Opposition, had demanded a CBI probe into the matter, alleging that the TDP had a role in the murder and could therefore influence the police investigation. However, the state police continued to investigate the case even after the YSRCP came to power. Vivekananda Reddy’s daughter Suneetha questioned the delay by the Jagan government in requesting a CBI probe, and moved the High Court. 

A year after the murder, in March 2020, the Andhra Pradesh High Court handed over the probe to the CBI, despite objections from the state government claiming that the SIT was at an advanced stage of investigation. According to reports, three SITs had been constituted to investigate the case until then, who had examined over a thousand witnesses. The CBI registered a case in July 2020 and started its probe. While investigations were interrupted by the pandemic, they were resumed earlier in June.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh police alleged that former Director General of Police (Intelligence) AB Venkateswara Rao —  who was suspended on charges of treason soon after the YSRCP came to power — had put pressure on his subordinate officers to falsely implicate CM Jagan and his family in the murder case, when he was overseeing the investigation in the initial days after the murder. The allegation came soon after Venkateswara Rao wrote to the CBI alleging that important information pertaining to Vivekananda Reddy’s murder had been ignored. Venkateswara Rao, who was considered close to TDP chief and former CM Chandrababu Naidu, was removed as the intelligence chief by the Election Commission ahead of the 2019 Assembly elections following complaints from the YSRCP which was then in the opposition. 

Earlier on August 3, the CBI arrested a key accused, a man named Sunil Yadav whose role had reportedly emerged after several rounds of questioning. 

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