Telangana MPs end fast as government withdraws cases (Second Lead)By IANS
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
HYDERABAD - Congress MPs from the Telangana region Tuesday ended their hunger strike after the Andhra Pradesh government agreed to withdraw all criminal cases filed during widespread agitation for a separate Telangana state.
The nine Congress parliamentarians broke their fast after state Home Minister P. Sabita Indra Reddy handed over a written assurance from the government to senior leader and Rajya Sabha member K. Keshava Rao about withdrawal of the cases.
Keshava Rao told reporters that following the government’s decision, they were terminating their hunger-strike.
The home minister said the government has decided to withdraw all the remaining cases against the agitators, most of whom were students, keeping in view their future.
She said all 1,667 cases against 8,047 people would be withdrawn. 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.
After a series of discussions Chief Minister Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy held with ministers and other ruling party leaders from the region, the government agreed to withdraw the pending 967 cases.
The nine MPs spent the Monday night in the hunger strike camp at New MLA Quarters.
The government Monday decided to withdraw 135 cases against 834 students but the MPs made it clear they would not settle for anything less than withdrawal of all cases.
Reddy again deputed three ministers from Telangana to talk to the MPs Monday 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.
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.