Hyderabad, Aug.18 (NSS): The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has launched simultaneous raids and searches in the residences and offices of Kadapa MP Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy and his associates and also those belonging to various investors in his business ventures and properties in as many as 22 places all over the country.
The raids were being conducted as per the recent directive of the High Court to the CBI for a full fledged investigation into Jagan’s assets and EMAAR Properties affairs while dealing with two PILs filed by the Handlooms & Textiles Minister, Dr P. Shankar Rao, and the senior TDP leader, Mr Yerrannaidu, who have accused late chief minister YSR’s son of amassing huge wealth by dubious and illegal means.
It is pertinent to note here that Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy was worth Rs 77 crores in 2009. However, during the bye-elections held for the Kadapa Lok Sabha seat in May, he had declared his assets to the tune of Rs 365 crores making him the richest MP in the country. In fact, he is accused of misusing his father’s position as Chief Minister during 2004-2009 for amassing the wealth.
As if keeping in tune with the raging nation-wide holocaust of “War against Corruption”, the CBI moved with break-neck speed soon after the High Court directive by registering an FIR against the Kadapa MP in the Nampally Criminal Court. The investigating officers sought permission from the Special Court for CBI cases to conduct raids and searches in as many as 90 identified places.
Having received green signal from the court, the CBI authorities set up a central operating office in the Dilkusha Government Guest House beside the Raj Bhavan. Assisted by officials from its offices in Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Visakhapatnam, the CBI also sought the help of experts in various sectors like banking, corporate affairs, RBI, Enforcement Directorate and Registrar of Companies.
12 TEAMS PLUNGE INTO ACTION
After forming 12 teams, each comprising eight to 12 sleuths, the CBI began its raids and searches simultaneously in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai, Kolkata and Ranchi besides some places in different parts of the State.
Incidentally, the CBI raids coincided with the rallies and dharnas all over the country in support of Anna Hazare’s crusade against corruption and while Jagan Mohan Reddy was busy in his populist “Odarupu Yatra” in Krishna district.
A team of 11 officers, headed by the Joint Director of CBI, Mr Laxminarayana, arrived in three vehicles at the palatial Lotus Pond residence of Jagan in Banjara Hills. The officers made a detailed check and microscopic search of all the 60-odd rooms on the premises and also made various inquiries from the inmates in the house including Ms Bharathi, wife of Mr Jagan. During the midst of the search, Ms Vijayalaxmi, Jagan’s mother, arrived from Pulivendula and she too was questioned.
Another team of officers also searched the house of Jagan’s sister, Ms Sharmila, situated in the Sagar Housing Society nearby. She and her husband Bro. Anil Kumar were also questioned by the officers and both were stated to have fully cooperated with the interrogators in answering all the questions.
The residence of senior IAS Officer, Mr B.P. Acharya, who was the Managing Director of Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) when the Dubai-based Emaar Properties had allegedly committed various irregularities in developing a township project, situated in Mahendra Hills in Secunderabad, was also raided and extensive searches conducted.
Business tycoon Nimmagadda Prasad, who owns Matrix Labs and stated to be one of the major investors in Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy’s business ventures also became the target for the CBI raids; his residence and office premises were subjected to minute search and scrutiny by a team of officers.
The CBI also launched searches in the offices of “Sakshi” newspaper and TV Channel, owned by Jagan besides the offices and Bharathi Cements. The residence and offices of Mr Shyamprasad Reddy, owner of Indu Projects, in Kukatpally and also on the premises Hetero Drugs, Hetero Pharma and Hetero Health Care offices were also subjected to searches by the authorities.
The other places where raids and searches were launched include Dalmia Cements, India Cements, Penna Cements, R.R. Global, Sudur Power Projects and so on. The owners or prominent persons connected with these firms are alleged to have made huge investments in Jagan’s business ventures and properties.
An eight-member team of CBI officers also raided the palatial residence of Jagan consisting of 30 rooms with huge lawns and a helipad built on a 20-acre plot on the outskirts of Bengaluru in Yalahanka. Except for a handful of servants and staff from among the 30-odd employees, present at the time of the raid, were stated to have been grilled by the officers. An office belonging to Mantri Real Estate and Builders situated on the Vittal Malya Road in Bengaluru was also searched. The Kadapa MP is stated to be having business interests in this firm.
The searches of various offices and firms associated with Jagan and his companies and also scrutiny of various documents and other material seized is expected to take some time. While some experts from different fields were entrusted with the scrutiny of the seized documents, another team is expected to question the Kadapa MP shortly.
RAIDS ON YSR AIDES LIKELY
Since there has been a demand from various quarters, including from Jagan himself, besides the Handlooms & Textiles Minister, Dr Shankar Rao and the Opposition parties, the possibility of the CBI questioning some ministers, who had served in the late YSR regime and also some senior bureaucrats of crucial departments is not being ruled out.
The senior TDP legislator, Mr Payyavula Keshav, had even wanted a thorough probe into the role of the members of the then “kitchen cabinet” of late YSR. Though he had not named any person, his target seems be that of late YSR’s close friend and then Political Advisor, Dr K. V. P. Ramachandra Rao. Even the Congress Rajya Sabha member, Mr V. Hanumantha Rao, has been repeatedly questioning the role of KVP in various deals during the YSR regime.
Once the CBI investigations are completed, the possibility of many hidden skeletons from the cupboards of prominent persons are bound to stumble. (NSS)