Amaravati: Police were probing in addition to the political angle, if a possible business rivalry could have led to the murder of former minister Y S Vivekananda Reddy, as the SIT commenced its investigation to unravel the mystery behind the incident, police sources said Saturday.
"There has been a running dispute for the past few months over a mining business in SPS Nellore district.
Vivekananda was said to be supporting one side in the dispute. Whether this could have caused the murder is not clear yet, but we are probing it as well," the police officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said.
Also, a possible rift within the family is another angle on which the probe is focused on, according to police sources.
Police have picked up Yerra Gangi Reddy, a follower of Vivekananda,for questioning in relation to the mining dispute.
The former ministers household staff, including his driver and cook, were also being questioned for possible clues in the case, police sources said. Meanwhile, the Special Investigation Team (SIT), under the supervision of Additional Director General of Police Amit Garg, has launched a full-scale probe to unravel the mystery behind the incident.
While the YSR Congress wanted the CBI to investigate, the state government has constituted a SIT to probe the case.
With hardly a month to go for the April 11 Lok Sabha and State Assembly polls, Vivekananda Reddy, younger brother of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister M Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, was found dead at his house in Kadapa district of Andhra Pradesh on Friday.
Police initially registered a case under Section 174 Cr PC (unnatural death) when Reddy's body was found by his staff early in the morning.
After post-mortem in the local government hospital, police confirmed the case was altered to Section 302 IPC that relates to murder.
The incident sparked a political slugfest between the opposition YSR Congress and the ruling Telugu Desam Party with both trading allegations holding each other responsible for the killing of the 68-year-old leader.
A note purportedly written by Vivekananda alleging that his driver "beat me up badly" has also become a subject of name-calling between the ruling Telugu Desam Party and YSRC. The note has been sent for forensic examination to establish the veracity, police said.
While YSRC chief Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, nephew of the slain leader, wanted a CBI inquiry, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu found fault with the slain leader's family for "destroying evidence" and ruled out a probe by the central agency.
"This is precisely the reason why we are strongly demanding a CBI inquiry into the case. If the TDP has nothing to hide, why is it shying away from a CBI probe," YSRC senior leader and former minister Dharmana Prasada Rao asked.
TDP MP Kanakamedala Ravindra Kumar, however, brushed aside the demand and accused the YSRC of insulting the state polices integrity.
"Who wiped out the basic evidence in the case at the scene of offence, and why? This only makes it clear that a conspiracy was behind the heinous crime," Kumar said.