HC clears the decks for 'save AP' meeting

HC clears the decks for 'save AP' meeting

 In a major victory to the activists fighting for a united Andhra Pradesh, the High Court here cleared the decks for the APNGOs to hold their “Save Andhra Pradesh” meeting in Lal Bahadur Stadium here on Saturday.

The court also dismissed a separate petition seeking a ban on live telecast of the meeting by some channels.

Justice Nooty Ramamohan Rao directed the government to ensure that only government employees with identity cards are allowed into the stadium. The Court also made it clear that the onus of maintaining law and order rests with the authorities and the police.

Even as the High Court heard the PIL on the meeting by government Seemandhra employees to hold the meeting, tension prevailed outside the premises as Telangana and Seemandhra lawyers clashed despite prohibitory order is in force in the twin cities banning rallies or processions.

Seemandhra advocates tried to form a human chain near the Bar Council office in the court premises with objections from the Telangana lawyers. Both the groups were close to a violent clash as police intervened to restrain them. The advocates were then arrested and taken to nearby police stations.

The groups then submitted a petition to Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta, in which they blamed each other for the incident at the court premises.

State law minister E Pratap Reddy called the incident unfortunate and asked the elders in the two regions to have a dialogue to defuse tension.

After the High Court verdict, leaders of APNGOs, including its President Ashok Babu, visited Lal Bahadur stadium to oversee arrangements for Saturday’s meeting. “We ask Telangana groups not to hinder the meeting as we are gathering (at the stadium) in peace to discuss the future course of action,” Babu said, advising employees of his group to exercise restraint since there would be attempts by some elements to disturb the meeting.

Given the tensions between groups from the regions, police have beefed up security around the venue of the APNGOs meeting. The TJAC has called for a 24-hour bandh beginning from Friday midnight. Both the Telangana Students JAC and Osmania University Students JAC have vowed to defy prohibitory orders and march towards the stadium on Saturday.

The RTC employees from the region have announced that busses will be off the road in the wake of the bandh.