Kadapa (Andhra Pradesh): YSR Congress party leader and former state Minister YS Vivekananda Reddy was murdered, police said after preliminary inquiry
Hours after the 68-year-old former MP was found dead at his home in Pulivendula town of Kadapa district, police said they were treating it as a murder case and investigating from all angles.
Kadapa Superintendent of Police Rahul Dev Sharma told reporters that there were seven injury marks including four on the head. The injuries were inflicted by a sharp object. He said the crime scene and the clues indicate that it was murder.
He constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to probe the case. “We have collected fingerprints from the scene and will match the same with those of the suspects,” the SP said.
The police suspect that as the rear door was open, somebody entered the house and killed him on the intervening night of Thursday and Friday.
Earlier, it was believed that Vivekananda Reddy died of cardiac arrest. However, on a complaint by his personal assistant, the police registered a case of unnatural death under section 174 of Code of Criminal Procedure and took up investigation.
After an autopsy at a hospital, the body was handed over to the family.
Vivekananda Reddy was younger brother of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy and uncle of YSR Congress party president YS Jaganmohan Reddy. He is survived by his wife and a daughter.
The former MP, who was alone at his house, was found dead in a pool of blood in the bathroom when Krishna Reddy along with housemaid entered the house from the rear door after there was no response to the knocks on the main door.
The personal assistant said Vivekananda had head injuries. As the rear door was open, the family suspected foul play.
YSR Congress party has demanded probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the murder.
Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu held a meeting with Director General of Police R.P. Thakur and other top police officials in Amaravati. He directed them to conduct a thorough probe and ensure that the guilty were apprehended at the earliest.
Vivekananda Reddy was elected from Kadapa Lok Sabha constituency on Congress ticket in 1999 and 2004. He was twice elected to the Andhra Pradesh Assembly (1989, 1994) from Pulivendula, a family stronghold.
Vivekananda was also elected to Andhra Pradesh Legislative Council in 2009 and served as Agriculture Minister in Kiran Kumar Reddy cabinet.
He remained loyal to Congress when Jaganmohan Reddy raised a banner of revolt against the party for not picking him as the successor of his father and Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy following his death in a helicopter crash in 2009.
Jagan Reddy had alleged that the Congress tried to engineer split in the family by making Vivekananda a Minister. The young leader subsequently floated YSR Congress party.
Vivekananda contested the 2011 by-election to Pulivendula constituency against his sister-in-law and Jagan’s mother Y. S. Vijayamma, who contested as YSR Congress candidate and won the seat with a huge majority.
Vivekananda later quit the Congress and joined YSR Congress. He lost elections to the Legislative Council in 2017.