Massive security in Andhra ahead of Srikrishna report

Thursday, January 6, 2011

HYDERABAD - Massive security arrangements have been made in Andhra Pradesh Thursday in view of the Srikrishna committee’s report on the Telangana issue that will be made public by the central government in the evening after an all-party meet in New Delhi.

Police and central paramilitary forces were deployed in Hyderabad and nine other districts of Telangana and some parts of Andhra and Rayalaseema regions to maintain law and order.

Security was further tightened at Osmania University, the nerve centre of the Telangana agitation, after some students set afire a bus of state-owned Road Transport Corporation Wednesday night and damaged two buses in stone pelting.

Fifty companies of central paramilitary forces have been deployed in addition to the state police forces across the state, Director General of Police Aravinda Rao said.

Half of the paramilitary forces were deployed in Hyderabad and Cyberabad police commissionerate limits. Five companies, each comprising 120 personnel, were deployed to provide security to Information Technology firms in Cyberabad.

The paramilitary forces, including Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Border Security Force (BSF) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), conducted flag marches in parts of Hyderabad.

Security has been beefed up at the residences of ministers and legislators, state assembly, secretariat and other vital installations in the state capital.

The five-member Srikrishna committee, which looked into the demands for and against separate statehood to Telangana, submitted its report to union Home Minister P. Chidambaram.

The central government has asked the media to exercise restraint in telecasting stories relating to the panel’s report. The Information and Broadcasting ministry has urged the media not to carry speculative stories which may cause untoward incidents.

The National Broadcasters Association (NBA) has issued guidelines for the television channels and cable operators in Andhra Pradesh.

The report will be made available at the eight-party meet called by Chidambaram in New Delhi. The same will be made public after the meeting. The report is likely to be uploaded on the union home ministry website at 5 p.m.

The Telugu Desam Party (TDP), Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) are boycotting the meeting, saying it would serve no purpose.

The ruling Congress, Praja Rajyam Party (PRP), Communist Party of India (CPI), Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (MIM) and Lok Satta are sending two representatives each to the meeting.

Worried over the likely fallout of the report in Telangana, the Congress summoned all its MPs from the region to Delhi.

Senior leader Pranab Mukherjee held a meeting with them Wednesday evening to advise them not to take any hasty step if the report makes no recommendation for formation of separate Telangana state.

The TRS, BJP and other parties fighting for a separate state are demanding the central government to table a bill in parliament in the next session, irrespective of the recommendations of the Srikrishna committee.

Telangana leaders of the Congress and TDP are also supporting this demand. However, their counterparts in Andhra and Rayalaseema regions are opposed to bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh.

The Srikrishna committee was constituted by the central government in February last year after Andhra Pradesh was rocked by violent protests for and against Telangana state.

Following an 11-day hunger strike by TRS chief K. Chandrasekhara Rao, the central government Dec 9, 2009 announced that the process for formation of separate state will be initiated.

However, it decided to have wider consultations through the panel after protests rocked Andhra and Rayalaseema region.

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