YSR Congress Party leader and Leader of the Opposition in Andhra Pradesh, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy, was stabbed in the left arm by a restaurant worker at Visakhapatnam airport on Thursday, ANI reported. The politician suffered a minor injury.
The assailant – identified as Janipalli Srinivasa Rao, a native of Taniyalapalli village near Amalapuram in East Godavari district – worked at the airport, reported the Hindustan Times. Unidentified police officials said he was employed as a chef at the airport’s Fusion Foods Restaurant for the past year.
Reddy was en route to Hyderabad after finishing his ‘padayatra’ (foot march) in Vizianagaram district when he was assaulted. He was waiting at the airport lounge for his flight when Rao reportedly attacked him, after asking him for a selfie. The police took Rao into custody and an inquiry is under way, state Home Minister NC Rajappa told reporters. Governor ESL Narasimhan spoke to Andhra Pradesh Director General of Police RP Thakur and sought a report on the incident.
Thakur said a preliminary inquiry showed that Rao is a worker of the YSR Congress party, reported News18. A letter was also found in Rao’s pocket, said the official.
Reddy later described the attack as an act of cowardice and said it would only strengthen his resolve to work for the people of his state. “To everyone worried about my safety – I’d like to inform you that I am safe,” he tweeted. “God’s grace and the love, concern and blessings of the people of Andhra Pradesh will protect me.”
After reaching Hyderabad, Reddy received treatment at the Citi Neuro Centre at Banjara Hills. According to doctors, the wound was deep and Reddy received three stitches.
Minister for Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu said he has asked asked agencies, including the Central Industrial Security Force, to thoroughly investigate the matter. The CISF guards airports across the country. “Asked secretary civil aviation to fix responsibility,” the minister tweeted. “I strongly condemn this cowardly attack, we will punish the guilty. Investigations are under way, started immediately.”
Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister N Chinarajappa condemned the attack and said an inquiry has been ordered, The Hindu reported. Several supporters of the YSR Congress party protested outside the airport after the attack.