Hyderabad : Conflicting Reports over YSR's Whereabouts

Hyderabad, Sep 2 (IANS) : Uncertainty persisted Wednesday over the whereabouts of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, whose helicopter went missing at 10.30 a.m. amid bad weather.

Although Social Welfare Minister P. Subhash Chandra Bose said the chief minister was safe after the helicopter landed in Kurnool district, police officials were not forthcoming on his location.

The chief minister was supposed to land at Chittoor district at 10.30 a.m. when his helicopter lost contact with air traffic control. There is bad weather in the area.

The minister, however, insisted that the chopper carrying the chief minister, his special secretary and two pilots landed safely.

"We have information that the chief minister is safe," said Chandra Bose. He was not ready to reveal any details.

Official sources said the details were not being revealed because Kurnool district where the chopper reportedly landed is a hotbed of Maoists.

Congress MP from Nandyal S.P.Y. Reddy told a Telugu television channel that he was yet to receive any information about the chief minister's whereabouts.

"Police have launched search operations," he said from Kurnool.

Two helicopters took off from Hyderabad to join the search operations. The army's help has been sought to locate the chopper.

The chopper lost contact with Air Traffic Control due to bad weather around 10.30 a.m. when it was on its way from Hyderabad to Chittoor where the chief minister was to attend a programme.

A high-level meeting is on at the state secretariat here.

Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy reviewed the situation with Chief Secretary Ramakant Reddy, Director General of Police S.S.P. Yadav, the chief minister's close aide and Rajya Sabha MP K.V.P. Ramchandra Rao and senior state ministers.


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