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Man attacks Jagan Mohan Reddy with knife at Vizag airport, sparks war of words

Jaganmohan Reddy tweeted that he was safe and that such acts will only strengthen his resolve to work for the people of his state.

By: Express News Service | Hyderabad | Updated: October 26, 2018 4:15:04 am
Jagan Mohan Reddy attacked at Visakhapatnam airport, man detained YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy was attacked at Visakhapatnam airport on Thursday.

YSR Congress chief and leader of the Opposition in Andhra Pradesh Assembly Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy suffered a minor injury when a man slashed at him with a small knife at Visakhapatnam airport on Thursday. The man, Janapalli Srinivas Rao, works as a waiter at a restaurant at the airport.

After the attack, Jagan was administered first aid after which he left for Hyderabad. He is expected to undergo tests to ascertain that the knife was not poisoned.

Jagan, who is on the last leg of Praja Sankalpa Yatra in Vizianagaram, was at Visakhapatnam airport to return to Hyderabad for a court hearing on Friday.

READ | Airport security is Centre’s responsibility, counters Andhra CM

YSR Congress chief Jagan Mohan Reddy attacked at Visakhapatnam airport, man detained YSRCP leader Jaganmohan Reddy undergoing treatment at Omega Hospital in Hyderabad. (Source: ANI)

DGP R P Thakur said the incident occurred in the VIP lounge. At the time of the attack, CISF officers, Jagan’s two personal security officers, and several party activists were near Jagan. Thakur said the man claimed he was Jagan’s fan. “He requested for a selfie. When Jagan agreed, he took out phone from his left pocket and a small knife from his right pocket and slashed Jagan on the left arm,” he said.

Thakur said Srinivas (30) joined the restaurant about a year ago. When questioned by CISF before being handed over to state police, Srinivas kept changing his statement on how he smuggled the small knife, similar to the ones used in cockfights, inside the airport.

Restaurant owner T Harshvardhan said Srinivas Rao had no criminal background. “We got a police verification done. He came across as a nice person and was very well-behaved. I cannot imagine why he attacked Jagan,” he said.

YSRCP activists at the airport raised slogans against the TDP Government and Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu. Accusing the TDP government of lapses in providing security to Jagan, YSRCP MLA Roja Selvamani said, “When you cannot even take in a nail cutter, how did this man get into the lounge with that sharp instrument? When someone of Jagan’s stature can be attacked in a secure area like the airport, imagine the plight of the common citizens.”

The sharp object which was used by the youth to attack the YSR chief. (ANI) The sharp object which was used by the youth to attack the YSR chief. (ANI)

Condemning the attack, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu said the incident was being used by YSRCP to fan unrest in the state. “I think this is a script written by BJP at the Centre and it is playing out here and in Hyderabad. The sequence of events suggests that Jagan is likely to seek exemption from appearing in the CBI court every Friday citing the injury and security reasons,’’ Naidu said.

The TDP has been alleging that the YSRCP and the BJP are hand-in-glove.

Reacting to the incident, Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu tweeted, “Shocked by attack on Mr Jagan Reddy, asked all agencies to investigate matter thoroughly, including CISF. Asked secretary, civil aviation to fix responsibility. I strongly condemn this cowardly attack, we will punish the guilty. Investigations are underway, started immediately.”

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