Jagan arrested by CBI

Hyderabad: Kadapa MP Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, who made a stunning rise in politics after rebelling against Congress, was today arrested by the CBI in a disproportionate assets case. The arrest of 39-year-old Jagan came after three days of intense grilling by the CBI and comes just ahead of byelections to 18 Assembly seats and one Lok Sabha seat in the state.

"CBI arrested Jaganmohan Reddy at 7.15 PM," CBI spokesperson said. Agency officials said the Jagan was questioned for three consecutive days and his answers to certain investments made by a few companies to Sakshi television abd Jagriti publications, owned by him, were not convincing.

CBI officials said Jagan was arrested for allegedly amassing assets disproportionate to his known sources of income. Some routing of funds have been detected from tax havens like Mauritius and Isle of Man, indicating that there were quid pro quo investments in his TV channel and publication by some companies which were given land in the much sought after Andhra Pradesh Industrial Development Park, they said.

Soon after his arrest, Jagan told party leaders who had come to meet him, that his supporters should maintain calm and not resort to any violence keeping in view the upcoming bypolls. "I will fight this battle legally in the courts and I am confident of a positive outcome," he said. Hyderabad Police Commissioner Anurag Sharma, said the security situation was under control, amid apprehensions that there may be law and order problem following Jagan`s arrest.

Jagan`s financial advisor Vijay Sai Reddy (another accused in the case) accompanied him to the Dilkusha guest house, where he was questioned for nearly nine hours today. The Kadapa MP is being grilled by the CBI since May 25 over the VANPIC project and for allegedly getting investments of several crores into his businesses from various firms and investors on quid pro quo arrangements, when his father late Y S Rajasekhara Reddy was the chief minister of Andhra Pradesh.

The YSR Congress chief, who was questioned for over eight and seven hours in the last two days, had said on Saturday he had replied to clarifications sought by the CBI. Jagan`s anticipatory bail petition will come up for further hearing tomorrow with CBI being asked to file its counter. Hyderabad police have clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC in the city, besides heavy deployment of AP Special Police and RAF personnel on Raj Bhavan road where the Dilkusha guest house is located.

The CBI has so far filed three charge sheets in the case. It has charged Jagan and his father of hatching a conspiracy to defraud the government with Jagan influencing his father in doling out favours to certain investors, who pumped in several crores into Jagan`s businesses as a quid pro quo arrangement. Emerging from the guest house after meeting Jagan, Congress rebel MP Sabam Hari said the "injustice" done to Jagan with his arrest will be fought legally.

"It is a Congress-TDP conspiracy to arrest Jagan. We will peacefully protest against his arrest. Jagan`s mother will lead the agitation," Ambati Rambabu, YSR Congress spokesperson said. Former TDP leader M V Mysoora Reddy, who recently joined the YSR Congress, termed the arrest as unfortunate while TRS leader K T Rama Rao, said many Congress ministers were involved in the `conspiracy" against Jagan.