HYDERABAD: Reliance outlets across the State were attacked on Thursday night following unsubstantiated reports that the Ambani brothers were behind the death of former chief minister Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, in September last year.Staunch YSR loyalists went about damaging Reliance outlets in the state capital and most parts of the Rayalseema region.The reaction followed reports in a couple of vernacular channels that a Russian online bi-weekly tabloid — exiledonline.com — carried a report that the death of YSR was not an accident and that it was the result of a conspiracy hatched by the Ambani brothers.However, the website could not be accessed by many including TNIE. Quoting the alleged report, the channels went ahead with debates and panel discussions on whether there was something more than meets the eye behind the YSR chopper crash which occurred on September 2, 2009 while he was flying from Hyderabad to Chittoor.A couple of hours after the violence began, YSR’s son and Kadapa MP YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said he was shocked to learn of the ‘‘conspiracy’’ behind the death of his father. ‘‘However, I appeal to people to protest in a peaceful manner,’’ Jagan appealed adding that ’’solution lies not in destruction of property.‘‘ In Kadapa, several Congress workers went round organising protests. They called for a bandh on Friday.Police swung into action straight away providing protection to all major Reliance establishments in the state.As for the alleged report, though it was inaccessible, reported extracts of the same online gave a few details: The article is titled, Enemy of Larry Summers’ ex-boss dies in mysterious helicopter crash; the article was written by one Mark Ames, coeditor of the tabloid; Larry Summers is the director of the US National Economic Advisory Council and reportedly a former advisor of Reliance; Ames theory, it appears, is that YSR’s insistence on supply of KG basin gas to Andhra Pradesh irked the Ambanis who themselves were fighting a legal battle over the issue; last but not the least, the alleged article was published just hours after the YSR chopper crash on September 2, 2009.Another website jagankosam.com featured discussions on the article by members way back in September.Telangana statehood protagonists, meanwhile, alleged that this was just another attempt to divert attention from the ongoing demand for creation of a separate Telangana state.CBI officials, investigating the helicopter crash, could not come across even an iota of evidence suggesting that it could have been due to sabotage.Different wings of the Congress, protesting the alleged conspiracy, demanded immediate action against the Ambani brothers.According to reports, Reliance Fresh, Reliance Mart and other showrooms were damaged in Hyderabad, Kadapa, Tirupati, Rajahmundry, Khammam, Karimnagar and Anantapur.Buses were damaged in Rajahmundry, three buses were burnt in Nandyal, students at Sri Krishnadevaraya University damaged a couple of buses in Anantapur.Reliance petrol pumps were damaged at Palamner in Chittoor district, Mahaboobnagar while Reliance cellphone towers were damaged in the districts — Guntur, Anantapur, Krishna, Nellore, Prakasam, Nalgonda, Adilabad, Nizamabad and Chittoor.
COURTESY INDIAN EXPRESS