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Criminal Cases Filed Against AP Students Withdrawn

PTI 13 Dec 2010, 18:51:58 IST
Hyderabad, Dec 13: The Andhra Pradesh government today announced that 565 criminal cases filed against 2436

students and protestors in connection with the agitations for and against the bifurcation of the state between December 2009 and September 2010, have been withdrawn.

Making a statement in the state Assembly, Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy said in all 1667 cases were registered against 8047 persons in connection with the agitations.

"We have classified the cases into two categories with the first consisting of simple cases like road and rail rokos, violation of prohibitory orders, making provocative statements instigating violence, attempt to commit suicide and insulting national leaders by garlanding their statues with objectionable material. The second category of cases includes serious offences like damage and burning of government and private properties and assault on public servants," she said.

The government has decided to withdraw all simple cases "in the interest of career prospects of youth and students," she added.

"Of the total cases, 182 against 411 persons were closed at the police station level during the investigation stage while 383 cases against 2025 persons were being withdrawn in courts," the Home Minister said.

Stating that the government would examine remaining cases over a period of time, the Home Minister appealed to all youth and students to cooperate with the government by not involving themselves in violence any further.

Referring to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram's statement of December 9, 2009 on withdrawal of cases Sabita Reddy said only about 400 cases were registered in connection with the agitation for separate Telangana by that period.

"But we took the cases registered subsequently also into consideration and studied each case thoroughly. We have taken legal opinion before withdrawing the cases," she added

Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy, who intervened in the debate, said the government would take "an appropriate ecision at the appropriate time" on withdrawal of remaining cases.

"We are examining each case in depth and withdrawing the cases in a foolproof manner," he maintained, trying to allay apprehensions raised by Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi.

However, the Opposition parties, which stalled the House proceedings for two days on the issue, expressed dissatisfaction and demanded that all cases booked against students in all the three regions of the state be withdrawn unconditionally.

They cited precedents where hundreds of criminal cases, including arson, were withdrawn previously in the aftermath of the murder of Congress MLA V M Ranga Rao (1988) and former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi (1991). Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu wanted the government to immediately withdraw all cases to protect the future of students.

Majlis floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi was vociferous in his demand that the cases booked against 422 Muslim youths in the old city of Hyderabad in the aftermath of communal clashes also be withdrawn forthwith.

He said history-sheets were being opened against the Muslim youths which would deprive them of every legitimate opportunity in future.

"Are these youth not part of Telangana? Why are the pro-Telangana parties not talking about these hapless students," he questioned.

The Chief Minister, however, maintained that the two issues could not be clubbed as the cases related to communal violence should be viewed with a different perspective.

"We are ready to discuss and review the cases against Muslim youths," Kiran Kumar Reddy said.  PTI