Jagan injured in attack at Vizag airport, TDP smells conspiracy

Hyderabad/Visakhapatnam,   YSR Congress Party President Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy suffered a minor injury at the Visakhapatam airport in a knife attack by a young man and was on Thursday admitted to a hospital in Hyderabad even as Andhra Pradesh’s ruling TDP voiced doubts that the attack could be a political conspiracy.

Soon after landing in Hyderabad, the Andhra Pradesh’s Leader of Opposition was admitted to a hospital. Doctors said his condition was stable.

The injury on his left arm was 3 to 4 inch deep and it required nine stitches, the doctors said. With doubts being expressed by YSRCP leaders that the knife could have been laced with poison, the doctors sent his blood samples for examination.

Jagan sustained injury on his left arm when he was stabbed by a youth who sneaked up to him with a request to take a selfie, police said.

The attacker, identified as Jaripalli Srinivas, works as a waiter at a restaurant at the airport.

A commandant of the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) overpowered the attacker, who was handed over to police. Jagan continued his journey to Hyderabad after getting first aid from the airport staff.

Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police R.P. Thakur said they were questioning the accused.

The police chief said Srinivas claimed to be a fan of Jagan. “Prima facie it appears that he resorted to the attack for publicity,” he said.

The officer said the police had no role in the security measures inside the airport. He said it was for CISF to find out how the attacker managed to carry a knife into the airport.

A case has been registered by the police on a complaint by CISF.

The YSRCP chief, who is on a state-wide ‘padyatra’ for nearly a year, visits Hyderabad every Friday to attend the court in the disproportionate assets case.

Jagan tweeted after landing in Hyderabad that he was safe. “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,” he tweeted.

“Such cowardly acts will not dissuade me but only strengthen my resolve to work for the people of my state,” he added.

The YSRCP took strong objection to the DGP’s “premeditated and preconceived notions” even as the state government was trying to shift the blame for lax security on CISF.

YSRCP spokesman Ambati Rambabu alleged that the accused was working at a restaurant owned by a TDP leader.

Andhra Pradesh ministers including Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s son Nara Lokesh condemned the attack on Jagan but they voiced their doubts about the incident.

Four Ministers addressed a joint news conference in Vijayawada on Thursday evening to say that their may be a political conspiracy behind the incident.

The TDP leaders said they had doubts because Jagan took medical treatment four hours after the attack and that too after reaching Hyderabad.

Atchan Naidu, one of the Ministers, said the incident could be a conspiracy against the TDP government and besides the BJP and Jagan, Jana Sena leader Pawan Kalyan and Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao could be involved in it.

Meanwhile, Telangana Chief Minister spoke to Jagan over phone and enquired about his health. The TRS chief wished Jagan speedy recovery.

Leaders cutting across party line in both the Telugu states condemned the attack on Jagan.