Acharya's defense in Reddy bros' mining cases

 The Cabinet recently decided to withdraw the cases including the one pertaining to destroying Sunkalamma Devi temple near Oblapuram. The two-century old temple was allegedly demolished using explosives by the associates of Bellary Reddy brothers to conduct mining.

Speaking to reporters, Acharya said that Bellary district sessions court dismissed the case holding that the temple does not fall within Karnataka boundary. It had also held that the temple was not functional. However, the then state government went in appeal to the Karnataka High Court challenging the order of the sessions court.

Asked whether the Law Department and the Bellary SP had advised against withdrawal of the case, the Home Minister said the proposal on withdrawal of any case is placed before the Cabinet when the Law Department and the SP concerned give different opinions.

He further said the governments in the past have withdrawn hundreds of cases which otherwise would have lost their relevance. “Cases are filed against people fighting for public cause. But that doesn’t mean that all those who would have protested in public interest are criminals,” he said.

When queried whether the temple falls within Karnataka boundary or not, Acharya said this will be known only after a joint survey of Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh boundary is carried out.

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