AP claims Naxals role in Telangana row

Last Updated: Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 00:20

New Delhi: Andhra Pradesh government on Thursday
claimed Maoists have infiltrated into the movement for a
separate Telangana state as the Supreme Court stayed the State
High Court`s direction for withdrawal of paramilitary forces
from Osmania University campus, the hotbed of the agitation.

However, Justice Singhvi, who heads a two-member bench of
the apex court, said "I don`t think there are any Naxalites in
the university."
The bench, which also has Justice T S Thakur, stayed the
high court direction till February 23 and directed the State
Home Secretary to "supervise" the paramilitary forces and
ensure they do not misbehave with the students in any manner.

The apex court however, turned down the plea of senior
counsel Harish Salve appearing for the state and Prashant
Bhushan for students that the direction against "misbehaviour"
should also cover the journalists who also were allegedly
assaulted in a brutal manner by the paramilitary forces.

"At the moment, we are concerned with the students,"
Justice Singhvi said while refraining from passing any
direction for protection of journalists as sought by the two
counsel.

Earlier, assailing the February 16 high court order,
Salve claimed "We have a strong perception that Maoists have
infiltrated the university and are creating trouble."

Salve said the recent killing of police personnel in West
Bengal and Naxalite violence in Chattisgarh and other places
are clear indications that Maoists are behind the largescale
violence being witnessed in Andhra Pradesh over separate
Telangana state.

Salve insisted that the authorities have enough video
evidence to prove that the agitation was not student-driven as
projected by the protagonists of the movement.

"There is large-scale infiltration, we have seen what has
happened in West Bengal. In the university, there will be
Naxalites. Video clippings reveal that they (agitation) are
not student-driven. The Osmania University VC is under
pressure," he submitted.

However, Prasant Bhushan, appearing for Anita and other
students on whose petition the High Court had passed the
direction, submitted the state was merely making "off-the-
cuff" remarks about the role of Naxalites in the agitation.

He said the high court has not done anything wrong by
passing the direction as it had merely ordered that the
central forces should be withdrawn from the campus and used
only when necessary.
"Things are very fluid. We are mainly concerned that
law and order should be maintained. Whether High Court can
interfere and give directions that law and order can be
maintained in a particularly manner is the question," Justice
Thakur, speaking for the bench, said.

Salve replied in the negative to a question from the
bench whether the state was given any notice or opportunity by
the High Court to be heard before passing the direction for
withdrawal of the forces.

The apex court asked the High Court to furnish a copy of
the February 16 judgement for its perusal when the matter
would be taken up for further hearing on February 23.

The bench also asked Bhushan, "What do you mean by
Telanaga police?" when the counsel tried to plead that the
Telangana police be deployed at the place.

He alleged over 3000 central paramilitary personnel
deployed there had brutally beaten up students, molested
girls, assaulted journalists and damaged their cameras or
video clippings.

The state government had assailed the February 16 order,
saying the High Court cannot order the removal of paramilitary
forces from the campus which is a hotbed of the agitation for
a separate Telangana state.

A division bench of the High Court had on February 16
upheld the directions of a single judge to move out special
forces from Osmania University campus.

The bench had said the single judge was right in his
analysis that the Rapid Action Force personnel were deployed
in the university campus without any study of the situation.

PTI



First Published: Saturday, February 20, 2010 - 00:20

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