Former Andhra Pradesh irrigation minister and senior Telugu Desam Party (TDP) leader Devineni Umamaheswara Rao (Uma) is currently absconding. He is wanted by the CID for allegedly morphing an old video of Chief Minister Y. S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.
“He (Uma) is absconding. He made a morphed video and displayed it in a Tirupati press conference,” a CID official probing the case told IANS on Wednesday.
According to the CID police, Uma allegedly illegally modified a 2019 press conference video of Reddy in which he reportedly spoke about the attractiveness of Tirupati as a location for professionals and used it to attack the CM in the run up to the high octane Scheduled Castes (SC) reserved Lok Sabha by-poll recently.
On April 7, Uma showcased this video and manoeuvred to gain a political advantage for the TDP in the run up to the by-poll.
The official said that the morphed video amounted to showing Reddy as saying: Nobody will come and stay in Tirupati when asked to do so. None of you will come and stay in a particular place if I come and ask you to stay. Any cardiologist or a highly educated person will prefer to stay in Hyderabad, Bengaluru or Delhi but nobody will prefer to stay in Odisha, Bihar or Tirupati.
“He displayed this video in the press conference, including taking care that the mouth (CM’s) is not visible using some form of stickering,” the official pointed out.
The official said that the video belonged to 2019 when Reddy spoke at Andhra Bhavan.
Following this incident, ruling Yuvajana Sramika Rythu Congress Party’s (YSRCP) Kurnool district legal cell president and advocate N. Narayana Reddy lodged a complaint with the CID on April 10.
On receiving the complaint, CID police in Mangalagiri booked a case against the former minister under IPC Sections 464, 465, 468, 469, 470, 471, 505 and 120 (b).
“As you have disrespected the chief minister by morphing his video and showcasing it to the press, we have included you as an accused in the case,” said the CID notice served at Uma’s Gollapudi residence in Vijayawada.
Police have already summoned Uma twice for a probe, on Thursday and Monday, but he evaded both the summons, including switching off his cell phone.
He was summoned to come with the tab he used in the press conference for investigation but is currently on the run.