New Delhi: Leader of Opposition in Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly and YSR Congress party president, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy has sought a thorough and impartial investigation by a third party agency outside the jurisdiction of the State government into the murder attempt on his life at Visakhapatnam airport last Thursday. In a letter to the Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, the YSRCP chief observed that for truth to be established this course of action was absolutely essential.

Senior YSRCP leaders handed over the letter written by YS Jagan to Rajnath Singh. The YSRCP chief said that the intention behind his writing to the Union Home Minister was to bring to his notice, the dangerous developments which have been unfolding in the state of Andhra Pradesh. "On October 25, 2018, in the VIP lounge of the Visakhapatnam airport, an attempt was made on my life by an unknown attacker, at about 12.40 pm. Approaching me in the ruse of seeking a selfie, he attacked me with a sharp instrument, targetting my neck to inflict a fatal injury on me. Instinctively, I turned to protect myself and as a result, a serious injury of about 3-4 cm deep, was inflicted on my left shoulder. The attacker was apprehended and handed over to the CISF personnel present at the spot.

The duty doctor present at the airport administered the required first aid to me. With a view to ensuring that the people of Andhra Pradesh do not get agitated and concerned, I changed my blood-soaked shirt, received first-aid, got the wound dressed and left for Hyderabad as per the scheduled 1.05 pm flight. On my arrival there, I went straight to Citi Neuro Hospital for treatment. Doctors at the hospital examined my wound, which required 9 sutures. Suspecting the use of poisonous substances by the culprit, blood samples were sent for investigation.

The AP government has already arrived at a conclusion and the probe into the incident is moving deliberately in a wrong direction. After having arrived at an immediate conclusion, the State government tried to portray the incident as an outcome of an internal plot within the YSR Congress party. A short while after this attempt on my life, the Director-General of AP police appeared before the media and made an announcement. He stated that as per preliminary investigation the attacker made this murder attempt on me for publicity.

This hasty and unsubstantiated announcement by the DGP, is an attempt to play down the murderous attack on me and help the TDP politically. The state government machinery is seeking to portray this shocking murder attempt on my life by obfuscating facts and trying to portray it as a minor incident.

While I was undergoing treatment in the hospital, AP state government officials and TDP leaders told the media several times that the attempt on my life was part of an internal plan to attract sympathy in the upcoming elections. This conclusion is clearly an inhuman attempt to drive the investigation in the wrong direction.

The chief minister of Andhra Pradesh spoke in a sarcastic and objectionable manner about me and the YSRCP, to media persons. He announced that a 10 page letter was recovered from the attacker, which revealed he was a YSRCP sympathiser and that a picture of late Dr. YS Rajasekhara Reddy was found in his house. The chief minister alleged that the YSCRP planned this attack to attract sympathy. Clearly, the chief minister's malicious statements were aimed at reinforcing the DGP's announcement. The investigation undertaken by the State is lacking in sincerity and is not based on facts. It has already arrived at a pre-mature conclusion.

In the media meet the chief minister tried to play down this vicious murder attempt on me and termed it a part of the script of 'Operation Garuda'. He described 'Operation Garuda' as a plot drawn up by the BJP and YSRCP to create instability in Andhra Pradesh. This vicious attempt on my life is clearly as per what a TDP sympathiser, who first propagated the expression, Operation Garuda, had said earlier. My belief that this attack was a direct attempt on my life and that if it failed, the TDP government would use it to indulge in mudslinging, and hurl baseless allegations as part of its plan, got strengthened further. Therefore, if the investigative agencies under the state government probe this incident, it would not be an effective one and they would not be able to discharge their duties with integrity.

In any crime, the victim is entitled to a fair and impartial investigation of the incident. Any such investigation should be fair, transparent and as per law. It should not be prejudiced or seek to obfuscate facts. Proper evidence should be collected and an inquiry conducted, without arriving at a pre-determined conclusion. These are central aspects of any fair investigation. In spite of possessing enough evidence about the attacker and the crime, investigative agencies of AP state government are probing the incident as a YSRCP conspiracy. A fair inquiry is not being conducted and the question which arises from the manner in which the investigation is being done is, can the state government conduct a fair and impartial probe?

In view of the fact that the AP government is trying to influence the investigating agency to use it to its advantage, I seek your intervention. I request you to issue necessary instructions to hand over the probe to an investigating agency outside the purview of the State government. This will ensure a fair probe and will reveal the facts behind the attack on my life. It will also ensure that the guilty are punished."

Yours faithfully,

YS Jagan Mohan Reddy