Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government has withdrawn 565 criminal cases against 2436 students and other protesters in connection with agitations against and for the separate statehood to Telangana between December 2009 and September this year.
Making a statement in the state Assembly, Home Minister P Sabita Indra Reddy said 1660 cases were registered against 8047 people in connection with the agitations.
"Of the total cases, 122 cases against 411 persons were closed at the police station level during the course of investigation, while 383 cases against 2500 persons were pending in the court," the Home Minister said.
The minister said cases like road-blockades, violation of prohibitory orders and attempt to suicide were withdrawn, bit those which are grave in nature such as arson, torching of public and private properties were still being examined.
Opposition parties, which stalled the House proceedings for two days on the issue, expressed dissatisfaction and demanded that all cases against students in all the three regions of the state must be withdrawn unconditionally.
They cited precedents where hundreds of criminal cases, including arson, were withdrawn. Leader of Opposition N Chandrababu Naidu wanted the government to immediately withdraw all cases to protect the future of students.
Reacting to this, Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy assured the members that every case was being thoroughly examined and the government would take "an appropriate decision at an appropriate time" in respect of cases that were not yet withdrawn.
Majlis floor leader Akbaruddin Owaisi was vociferous in his demand that the cases booked against 422 Muslim youth in the old city of Hyderabad in the aftermath of communal clashes also be withdrawn forthwith.
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 youth," Kiran Kumar Reddy said.
Earlier, the House was adjourned for 15 minutes as the TRS MLAs wanted an immediate statement on the withdrawal of cases against students.