AP agrees to withdraw all cases against Telangana students

Hyderabad: Bowing to the pressure from Congress MPs from Telangana, the party’s government in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday decided to withdraw all criminal cases filed during protests for a separate Telangana state.

After a series of discussions Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy had with ministers and other ruling party leaders from the region, the government agreed to withdraw the pending 967 cases. These will be in addition to the cases withdrawn earlier.

The cases were booked during the protests for and against a separate Telangana state in all three regions of the state between November 2009 and September 2010.

An announcement on withdrawal of cases will be made by Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy, official sources said. The government will move the court to withdraw some cases of serious nature.

A delegation of ministers from Telangana will meet the MPs, who are on hunger strike since Monday, demanding withdrawal of all cases. They will apprise the MPs of the government’s decision and request them to break the fast.

The government continued its efforts to placate the Congress MPs to end the fast till late on Monday night but without any success.

Nine MPs led by senior leader and Rajya Sabha member K. Keshava Rao spent the night in the hunger strike camp at New MLA Quarters.

A team of doctors, which examined them, said all their health parameters were normal.

The government on Monday decided to withdraw 135 cases against 834 students but the MPs made it clear that they would not settle for anything less than withdrawal of all cases.

Kiran Kumar Reddy again deputed three ministers from Telangana to talk to the MPs last night and request them to call off the fast as it was proving an embarrassment for the government.

The MPs, however, stuck to their demand.

Worried over the fast by the MPs, the central leadership of the Congress was also in touch with the chief minister and party’s state unit president D. Srinivas to resolve the issue.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s political advisor Ahmed Patel and party general secretary M. Veerappa Moily spoke to Reddy and Srinivas over phone, party sources said.

With state legislators from Telangana also planning to join the MPs in the fast on Tuesday, the government was under pressure to immediately find a way out.

A total of 1,667 cases were filed against 8,047 people during the pro and anti-Telangana protests.

The government earlier this month announced in the state assembly withdrawal of 562 cases against 2,436 people but decided not to take back other cases, terming them of serious nature.(IANS)

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