CBI grills Jagan in illegal assets case
Hyderabad, May 25 (IANS) The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) here Friday continued grilling YSR Congress Party leader Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy in the illegal assets case amid speculation that he could be arrested.
CBI officials led by joint director V.V. Lakshminarayana began questioning Jagan at 10.30 a.m. at Dilkusha Guest House, the camp office of the agency, amid tight security. The questioning is likely to continue till the evening.
Jagan's family sent him lunch from home. The CBI is believed to be questioning him in the presence of Excise Minister Mopidevi Venkataramana, who was arrested Thursday for his role in issuing orders as minister for infrastructure and investment in the YSR cabinet, leading industrialist Nimmagadda Prasad and bureaucrat K.V. Brahmananda Reddy. All the three are currently in CBI custody.
Jagan was seen entering the guest house at 10.30 a.m with a smile on his face and greeting the officials with folded hands. The 40-year-old businessman-politician was accompanied by Congress MP Sabbam Hari, state legislator Alla Nani and Bhuma Nagi Reddy.
The usually busy Raj Bhavan Road, where the guest house is located, has been blocked by police. A few Jagan supporters who managed to reach near the guest house and raised slogans were arrested.
Hyderabad is virtually under police siege with deployment of forces at several places to avert any law and order problem in the event of Jagan's arrest. Prohibitory orders banning assembly of five or more people have been imposed in the city and other parts of the state.
Personnel from city police, Andhra Pradesh Special Police and Rapid Action Force (RAF) were deployed around the guest house and surrounding localities. Police kept water canons and tear gas ready.
A couple of hours after Jagan appeared before the CBI, unidentified persons set afire a bus of state-owned Road Transport Corp (RTC) at NGOs colony in Vanasthalipuram in Hyderabad.
Dozens of Jagan supporters were arrested in various districts since Thursday night while heading for the state capital.
This is the first time since the CBI registered a case of assets disproportionate to income against Jagan and 71 others in August last year that Jagan has appeared before the investigating agency.
The MP from Kadapa appeared before the CBI a day after Excise Minister Venkataramana was arrested in the same case.
Jagan is being questioned about the investments made into his companies by the firms which allegedly received land, licenses and other concessions from the government when his father Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy was chief minister. Rajasekhara Reddy died in September 2009.
The CBI, which has so far filed three charge sheets in the case, alleged that Jagan conspired with his father to dole out favours to certain companies under quid pro quo arrangement.
It is questioning Jagan three days before he is scheduled to appear before a CBI special court.
Earlier, Jagan left his residence in the posh Banjara Hills area for the guest house amid tight security. A large number of supporters had gathered at his residence.
He took the blessings of his mother Vijayamma. His sister, wife and other family members saw him off. Those present at the house included Jagan's aide and auditor Vijay Sai Reddy, also an accused in the case now on bail.
Police have also imposed prohibitory orders in Jagan's native district Kadapa and several places in the state.
Jagan, who was busy campaigning for the party in June 12 by-elections to one Lok Sabha and 18 assembly seats, had reached Hyderabad Thursday night.
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