From left- J. Srinivas Rao (accused) and Jagan Mohan Reddy
Amravati: National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Vijayawada has asked Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy to appear on April 10 in a four-year-old case related to a knife attack (Kodi Kathi case) on him.
Chief Minister’s personal assistant K. Nageshwar Reddy was also directed to appear.
Jagan Mohan Reddy was supposed to appear for the previous hearing on March 14. However, he skipped the hearing. The case was later adjourned to April 10.
During the hearing on March 14, CISF Assistant Commandant Dinesh Kumar, who was an eyewitness in the case was examined. Police also submitted a rooster knife, which was used to attack, another small knife, wallet, and cell phone, to the court.
Kodi Kathi case:
On October 25, 2018, Jagan Mohan Reddy when in opposition was injured on his arm when a youth attacked him with a rooster knife at Visakhapatnam airport. The accused J. Srinivas Rao was working at the airport canteen on a contract basis.
The then TDP government which was in rule had handed over the case to a Special Investigation Team (SIT) of the state police. However, Jagan Mohan Reddy refused to record his statement saying he had no trust in agencies controlled by the state government.
Further, YSRCP had moved the state high court, seeking a probe by a central agency into the case.
Based on the court direction, the Centre handed over the case to the NIA on December 31, 2018. The trial began on January 1, 2019. During the earlier hearings, when the advocate of the accused questioned why the victim is not being questioned, the NIA counsel said that his statement had already been recorded.
Later the judge asked why the recording of the victim’s statement was not mentioned in the charge sheet. After multiple hearings, the court also felt that it would be pointless to question all the witnesses while leaving aside the victim. The court directed the Chief Minister, who is the victim in the case, should appear before it without fail.
Accused fighting for bail:
The accused is lodged in Rajahmundry Central Jail. Though the family members filed bail petitions, they got rejected every time. In January 2023, the NIA court rejected the bail petition submitted by advocate Salim on behalf of the accused Srinivas.
Mother requested CM
In 2022, Savithri, the mother of Srinivas, had written to then Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana that the case be expedited, and her son be granted bail. She also submitted a requisition letter to Jaganat CM's vamp office during spandana grievance programme for NOC, which will help them to secure bail for the accused.
There were incidents when Savithri threatened to commit suicide if her son does not return home.
Srinivas during his interaction with the media said that he is a fan of Jagan Mohan Reddy, and did not deliberately attack. He said he went near him to discuss people's problems, and the knife he was carrying accidentally hurt him.