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.
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.
To everyone worried about my safety – I’d like to inform you that I am safe. God’s grace and the love, concern & blessings of the people of Andhra Pradesh will protect me. Such cowardice acts will not dissuade me but only strengthen my resolve to work for the people of my state!
— YS Jagan Mohan Reddy (@ysjagan) October 25, 2018
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.
విశాఖ ఎయిర్పోర్ట్ లో ప్రతిపక్షనేత శ్రీ వైయస్ జగన్ మోహన్ రెడ్డి పై కోడిపందేలలో వాడే కత్తితో దాడి చేసిన దుండగుడు. పథకం ప్రకారం దాడి చేశారని అనుమానం. ప్రతిపక్ష నేతకు భద్రత కల్పించడంలో స్పష్టంగా కనిపిస్తోన్న ప్రభుత్వ వైఫల్యం. pic.twitter.com/IjJVs8NKkq
— YSR Congress Party (@YSRCParty) October 25, 2018
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.”
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.
Shocked by attack on Mr Jagan Reddy,Asked all agencies to investigate matter thoroughly,including @CISFHQrs .Asked secretary civil aviation to fix responsibility.I strongly condemn this cowardly attack,we will punish the guilty.Investigations are underway, started immediately
— Suresh Prabhu (@sureshpprabhu) October 25, 2018
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.”