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Muslim Majlis Demands Withdrawal Of Cases In Communal Riots

Hyderabad, Dec 10:  The first day of the winter session of Andhra Pradesh Assembly ended without transacting any business today as the MIM (Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen) put the Congress government in a bind demanding withdrawal
PTI December 10, 2010 16:25 IST
Hyderabad, Dec 10:  The first day of the winter session of Andhra Pradesh Assembly ended without transacting any business today as the MIM (Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen) put the Congress government in a bind demanding withdrawal of cases against Muslim youths and students in connection with various communal incidents in the old city area of Hyderabad.

The House saw repeated adjournments with the Telangana Rashtra Samiti MLAs first raising the demand for withdrawal of cases filed against students during the pro-Telangana agitation in December last year.

This led to the first adjournment of the proceedings of just seven minutes after the House sat for the winter session began this morning.

The TRS MLAs stormed the Speaker's podium holding placards and demanding that the cases against students be withdrawn immediately as per the statement made by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on December 9 last year.

When the House re-assembled, Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu, Praja Rajyam Party leader K Chiranjeevi, BJP leader G Kishan Reddy, CPI leader G Mallesh, CPM leader Julakanti Ranga Reddy and Lok Satta Party leader N Jayaprakash Narayan wanted the government to withdraw the cases booked against students not only in Telangana but also in Andhra-Rayalaseema regions where the agitation was in favour of a united state.

Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi, while favouring withdrawal of cases against students, demanded that the cases booked against Muslim youths in the old city area of Hyderabad also be withdrawn simultaneously. He demanded a statement from the government on the issue.

Though Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy announced that she would make a statement on withdrawal of cases against students, she did not mention anything about the cases against Muslim youth. This angered the MIM MLAs who tried to storm the Speaker's podium.

Deputy Speaker Nadendla Manohar, who was in the chair, adjourned the proceedings for the second time. Order could not be  restored even after the House re-assembled as the MIM members persisted with their demand.

Akbaruddin pointed out that 410 youths, including 150 students, were facing criminal cases in connection with the communal riots in the old city and also in the aftermath of the Mecca Masjid blasts.

"A sum of Rs 42 lakh has been spent to secure bail for 220 of them. The future of these hapless youths is at stake and the government should immediately withdraw the cases against them," Akbar demanded.

Amidst the din, the House was adjourned for the third time and the Deputy Speaker invited floor leaders of all parties for a talk to end the stalemate.

When the House re-assembled, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy said he appreciated the concern of the members as he too was a student of Nizam College and Osmania University.

"But we can't issue a blanket order withdrawing the cases as the courts will not permit it. We have to examine all the cases and follow due procedure before withdrawing the cases," the Chief Minister said, referring to the cases against students.

He told the agitated MIM members that a question related to the cases against Muslim youths was listed for Monday. "You will get an answer on the subject and you can raise any further issue on Monday," Kiran Kumar suggested.

Since farmers in the state were facing untold misery due to the vagaries of nature this year, their issue should be discussed on a priority basis, he said and appealed to the MIM members to let the House run its listed business.

But the MIM legislators remained firm on their demand and stormed the Speaker's podium once again.

The Deputy Speaker repeatedly urged the agitated members to resume their seats and let the House run smoothly. His pleas, however, fell on deaf ears forcing him to adjourn the House abruptly for the day.

Earlier in the day, the TRS MLAs came in a procession to the Assembly wearing T-shirts with the slogans "Withdraw the cases foisted on students."

Meanwhile, TDP, CPI and CPM MLAs, led by Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu, staged a dharna at Gun Park outside the Assembly premises demanding that the government immediately pay compensation to lakhs of farmers whose crops were destroyed due to cyclones and unseasonal heavy rains three times this season.

"Farmers are facing untold miseries this year because of the vagaries of nature. But the government has failed to come to the distressed farmers," they alleged. They later came into the Assembly holding the damaged paddy and sugarcane crops in a symbolic gesture to demonstrate the gravity of the problem. PTI