Viveka Murder case: CBI grills YSRCP MP Avinash Reddy along with father Bhaskar Reddy

The entire questioning proceedings were recorded in audio and video to submit to the Telangana High Court, following its order.

BySouth First Desk

Published Apr 19, 2023 | 6:36 PM Updated Apr 19, 2023 | 7:29 PM

Avinash Reddy on the way to appear for questioning at the CBI office in Hyderabad. (Screengrab)

YSRCP MP YS Avinash Reddy appeared before the CBI in connection with the murder case of his uncle and former MP YS Vivekananda Reddy for the fifth time on Wednesday, 19 April.

The CBI grilled him, his father YS Bhaskar Reddy, who is already in custody, and their alleged accomplice Uday Kumar Reddy, for eight hours — both separately and together.

The entire questioning was recorded in audio and video as per the direction of the Telangana High Court, which is hearing an anticipatory bail petition filed by Avinash Reddy.

YS Vivekananda Reddy, popularly known as Viveka, was also the paternal uncle of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy. He was found murdered in his house in Kadapa in March 2019.

Related: Telangana HC directs CBI not to arrest Avinash Reddy till 25 April

Focus on ₹40 crore ‘supari’

During questioning, the CBI investigators mainly focused on the ₹40 crore “supari”, or contract to kill, that was alleged upon in the case. Another accused, Shaik Dastagiri, who has turned approver, informed the CBI about this contract.

The investigators also tried to collect information with the help of evidence they have so far collected to prove the role of the father-son duo in the sensational case.

In its interim order issued on Tuesday, the high court had asked the CBI not to arrest Avinash Reddy till April 25 and also directed the MP to appear before the CBI as and when it summoned him.

Accordingly, Avinash Reddy appeared before the CBI at its office in Koti in Hyderabad at 10.30 am.

Avinash Reddy was supposed to present himself at the CBI office at 4 pm on Tuesday, but he could not as arguments over his anticipatory bail petition concluded in Telangana High Court only at 4.30 pm.

Related: Avinash Reddy files anticipatory bail petition in the Telangana HC

CBI issues fresh notice

The CBI then issued a fresh notice asking him to appear before it on Wednesday morning.

The CBI investigators first grilled Avinash Reddy separately till afternoon and later questioned him along with his father Bhaskar Reddy and Uday Kumar Reddy post-lunch.

A few days ago, the premier investigating agency arrested Bhaskar Reddy and Uday Kumar Reddy in the murder case.

After the special court for CBI cases in Hyderabad granted them six-day custody till 24 April, a team from CBI had gone to Chanchalguda prison, where Bhaskar Reddy and Uday Kumar Reddy were lodged after being sent to 14 days judicial remand, and shifted them to its office in Koti for questioning.

The duo underwent a medical check up, including a Covid-19 test, before they were brought to the CBI office.

In the remand report of Uday Kumar Reddy, the CBI said Avinash Reddy, along with the other accused, hatched a larger conspiracy to eliminate Vivekananda Reddy.

An attempt was made to destroy evidence from the bathroom, where Vivekananda Reddy was found dead with grievous head injuries in his house in Kadapa on the intervening night of 14 and 15 March, 2019.

Related: CBI appoints new probe team; Supreme Court sets 30 April deadline

‘Trying to implicate’

However, in the anticipatory bail petition filed before the high court, Avinash Reddy said the investigating agency, after giving several versions of what happened after the death of Vivekananda Reddy, and was trying to level unfounded allegations against him and others.

“There is absolutely no acceptable legal evidence on record or any other incriminating material to connect me with the alleged offence,” he said.

According to the petition, the CBI’s previous investigating officer (IO) threatened witnesses on multiple occasions with fear of incarceration and worse to ensure that Avinash Reddy was framed through the statements of such witnesses.

Avinash Reddy, in the anticipatory bail petition, also said that Viveka was forced to do land settlements and diamond business along with his close associates, accused in his murder case, to earn money for his and his second family’s survival.

Avinash Reddy further said the family of Vivekananda removed his cheque power and made him suffer financially for his and his second family’s survival needs.

The investigation clearly revealed that the deceased married a young woman named Shaik Shameem in 2011 and they had a son named Shaik Shahensha, added Avinash Reddy.

Related: Avinash Reddy alleges conspiracy against him

Case so far

Vivekananda Reddy, the uncle of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, was found murdered in the bathroom of his house in Kadapa in March 2019.

Bhaskar Reddy and Avinash Reddy’s names figured in the murder case that created a sensation before the Assembly elections in Andhra Pradesh in 2019.

Bhaskar Reddy has been charged under Sections 120B (conspiracy), 302 (murder) and 201 (causing disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) as he played a crucial role in the case, according to the CBI.

The probe agency believes he had spoken to the accused before and after the murder.

According to the CBI, the father and son hatched the plot to murder Vivekananda Reddy and sheltered the accused.

Their associate Shiva Shankar played a crucial role in erasing evidence, the CBI said in a response filed before the court to oppose the bail of Sunil Yadav, who is an accused in the case.

The CBI also said that a ₹40 crore “supari” (contract to kill) was offered to the accused to eliminate Viveka.

The Supreme Court last November transferred the case from Andhra Pradesh to a Special CBI Court in Hyderabad for investigation and trial into the conspiracy behind the murder case.

The apex court’s decision came on a petition by Viveka’s daughter, Dr Narreddy Suneetha, who had in the past alleged that Avinash Reddy was hampering the CBI probe.