AP fate hangs in balance

Telangana report has many options; cases against agitators spiked

AP fate hangs in balance

In Hyderabad, meanwhile, the beleaguered Andhra Pradesh  government bowed to pressure from Congress MPs to drop cases against students arrested in connection with the Telangana agitation.

Justice Srikrishna, head of the committee, who is all set to submit the report to Home Minister P Chidambaram, said in New Delhi that the report would provide the “highest satisfaction of the largest number” raising hopes among the Telangana statehood enthusiasts that it would lay bare the reasons for carving the backward region out of the existing Andhra Pradesh state.

Chidambaram is away in North-East and will return to Delhi only on Thursday evening.
Justice Srikrishna, a former Supreme Court judge, hoped that the report would bring a permanent solution to the issue.  Committee Secretary Vinod K Duggal said it would give several options with pros and cons.

“Hopefully, the largest number of people will have the highest sense of satisfaction with the report. I hope we will achieve that,” Duggal said.  The Centre constituted the committee on February 3 to consider demands for creating a separate Telangana state, while also looking into the merits of keeping Andhra Pradesh united.

Duggal, a former home secretary, said the commission looked into each of the terms of reference in detail. The Telangana issue was analysed in all its “hues and shades.” Duggal said the report will have two volumes. While the first volume will be a “substantive report,” the second contains all the appendices.

Srikrishna said the committee toured nearly 35 villages, covering all the 23 districts of Andhra Pradesh, and spoke to several people, including leaders of political parties.

The Kiran Kumar Reddy government was on Tuesday forced to drop cases against the students, who agitated for and against Telangana statehood, after the Congress MPs and legislators went on a fast on the lawns of the new MLAs’ quarters.

Relief for students

In all 8,047 students will be relieved from 1,667 cases registered in the agitations that rocked the Telangana, Andhra and Rayalaseema regions between November 2009 and September 2010.

Though it had dropped 700 cases against 3,336 people as on Monday, the government was reluctant to let students charged with arson and other charges off the hook. But it had little choice as the protest by Congress legislators and MPs threatened to become a mass movement.

Telangana Rashtra Samiti president K Chandrasekhar Rao on Tuesday visited the agitating Congress MPs and assured them of all support. He also threatened that his party would intensify the agitation if the Centre failed to commence the process for forming the Telangana state after the Srikrishna committee filed its report.
 

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