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Thursday, January 6, 2011

Telangana Report Out ... Only Telangana with Hyderabad as its capital will be acceptable: TRS ... Disappointed Students go on rampage

Telangana Report Out
TNN, NEW DELHI: Creation of a separate Telangana state with Hyderabad as its capital and keeping Andhra Pradesh united with constitutional and statutory measures for empowerment of the Telangana region are among the six options recommended by the Justice Srikrishna Committee.
The report of the five-member committee headed by former Supreme Court judge that gave its recommendations after about 11 months of consultation process in the state was released by the home ministry on Thursday, a week after it received it.
The two-volume 461-page report has also suggested maintaining status quo with a rider that it is the least favoured option.
In the fourth option, for which political parties spearheaded by TRS have been campaigning, the Committee suggests bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into two units -- Telangana and Seemandhra -- as per existing boundaries. Telangana will have Hyderabad as capital, while Seemandhra, comprising Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra regions, will have a new capital. 
In the option for keeping the state united, the Committee has suggested that there should be simultaneous provision of certain constitutional and statutory measures for socio-economic development and political empowerment of Telangana region by creation of a statutorily-empowered Telangana Regional Council. 
Another option is to bifurcate the state into Seemandhra and Telangana with Hyderabad as a Union Territory and the two states developing their own capitals in due course. 
Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into Rayala-Telangana and coastal Andhra regions with Hyderabad being an integral part of Rayala-Telangana is another option suggested by the committee. 
Yet another idea is to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh into Seemandhra and Telangana with enlarged Hyderabad Metropolis as a separate Union Territory. 
"This Union Territory will have geographical linkage and contiguity via Nalgonda district in the south-east to Guntur district in coastal Andhra and via Mahaboobnagar district in the south to Kurnool district in Rayalaseema. 
Following are the options and explanation given by the committee: 
1. Maintaining Status Quo: The committee said it is of the unanimous view that it would not be a practical approach to simply maintain the status quo in respect of the situation. 
"Some intervention is definitely required and though maintaining the existing status quo is an option it is favoured the least," the panel says. 
2. Bifurcation of the state into Seemandhra and Telangana; with Hyderabad as a Union Territory and the two states developing their own capitals in due course: 
"There is a definite likelihood of serious backlashes in Telangana region and on overall consideration, the Committee found this option was also not practicable." 
3. Bifurcation of the state into Rayala-Telangana and Coastal Andhra Regions with Hyderabad being an integral part of Rayala-Telangana: 
"This scenario is not likely to be accepted either by the pro-Telangana or by the pro-United Andhra protagonists. While this option may have economic justification, the committee believes that this option may not offer a resolution which would be acceptable to people of all three regions," it says. 
4. Bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh into Seemandhra and Telangana with enlarged Hyderabad Metropolis as a separate Union Territory. This Union Territory will have geographical linkage and contiguity via Nalgonda district in the south-east to Guntur district in coastal Andhra and via Mahaboobnagar district in the south to Kurnool district in Rayalaseema: 
"This is likely to receive stiff opposition from Telangana protagonists and it may be difficult to reach a political consensus in making this solution acceptable to all," it says. 
Home minister P Chidambaram appealed to all political parties in Andhra Pradesh to read the recommendations of the Justice Srikrishna Committee on Telangana with an "open mind" and give "impartial consideration" to them. 
Read Telangana report with 'open mind' : Chidambaram tells leaders
TNN, NEW DELHI: Home minister P Chidambaram on Thursday appealed to all political parties in Andhra Pradesh to read the recommendations of the Justice Srikrishna Committee on Telangana with an "open mind" and give "impartial consideration" to them. 
He expressed confidence that the report will generate an "informed and matured" debate on the issue.
Handing over copies of the report to leaders of political parties from the state at a meeting here, Chidambaram urged them to give "your most careful, thoughtful and impartial" consideration to the recommendations.
He asked them to read the report with an "open mind" and be prepared to persuade or be persuaded by those hold another point of view.

Disappointed Students go on rampage
IE Hyderabad: Police lobbed tear gas shells to disperse a group of protesting pro-Telangana students after being pelted with stones at the Osmania University (OU) campus here this afternoon.
A bus too was set ablaze by the students, the police said.
Denouncing the Justice Srikrishna Committee report on Telangana and demanding a separate Telangana state, students tried to take out a march to the Raj Bhavan from the varsity campus and pelted stones at police after they were stopped, police said.
"The situation is now under control," Deputy Commissioner of Police (East Zone) Y Gangadhar told PTI.
At least four students sustained injuries in the stone-pelting and were shifted to a hospital, the senior police officer said. "The injuries have nothing to do with the firing of tear gas shells," he said.
Minutes after the Justice Srikrishna Committee report on Telangana statehood demand was made public by the Centre, the pro-Telangana students allegedly burnt a relief bus near the Arts College on the campus which had come to tow away another torched bus that was set on fire last night. 

Anticipating trouble, the Andhra Pradesh police have already made elaborate security arrangements across the state with the deployment of 50 companies of the paramilitary forces in the three regions out of which 18 companies have been deployed in Hyderabad alone.
Srikrishna panel members in trouble for 'misrepresenting facts'
TNN, HYDERABAD: Hyderabad's second additional chief metropolitan magistrate Sanga Reddy on Wednesday referred a private complaint filed against two members of the Justice Srikrishna committee to the Abids police station and directed them to enquire into the matter.
The complaint filed by one Mohammad Vali Ur Rehaman of Telangana People's Front charged Abu Saleh Sharif and Ravinder Kaur, members of the Srikrishna Committee, with offences pertaining to promotion of hatred between two sections of society.
The complainant cited certain media interviews in which these two members had reportedly told that the Muslims in Telangana wanted only development and a stake in the mainstream society and not a separate Telangana. "This is utterly misleading because we want a separate Telangana state and had given a detailed representation to the Justice Srikrishna committee to this effect on May 26, 2010. Not only this, we had personally briefed the committee about the need for carving out a separate state to ensure the development of minorities," Rehaman said in his petition.
When this is their stated stand on Telangana, it is unfair to tell the world that Muslims in Telanagana are not in favour of a separate state, the complainant said and wanted the court to refer his petition to the police for booking an FIR on the two members who he claimed were "spreading falsehood in the name of Muslims in the area and are spoiling the harmony in the society'.
The Abids police will now have to conduct an enquiry after registering an FIR on the issue, petitioner's counsel Sriranga Rao said.

Only Telangana with Hyderabad as its capital will be acceptable: TRS
TNN, HYDERABAD: Asserting that nothing short of Telangana with Hyderabad as its capital will be acceptable to the party, the Telangana Rashtra Samiti today hoped that "wisdom would prevail" on the Centre to make a "right choice" on the separate statehood issue. 
"We are told that the Srikrishna Committee has given some options...We hope wisdom will prevail and Centre will take the right choice and live up to the promise it made to the people of Telangana on December 9, 2009. Other than Telangana, with Hyderabad as its capital, nothing else will be acceptable to us," TRS MLA and party chief K Chandrasekhar Rao's son K T Rama Rao said. 
The TRS will be ready for a dialogue with the Centre if it is committed to the formation of Telangana, he said. 
Asked about Union home minister P Chidambaram's appeal to the political parties to read the Committee report with an "open mind", Rama Rao said the decision to form a separate state is a political one and that it is for the Centre to take a call on it. 
"It is truly unfortunate that the Centre is trying to push the ball back in the court of political parties. After an year of consultations, it is upto to the Union Government to take a call and decide which option it would take. Now, the decision making power lies with the Centre." 
"I would like to remind the home minister that none of the states formed earlier, were formed on a basis of a Committee's report. It is a political decision that needs to taken. We are hoping that the UPA government will take a right decision," he said. 
Rao said TRS would continue to fight for separate Telangana in a peaceful manner. 
"The party will continue to carry on its agitation on the issue in a peaceful and democratic manner. If the aspirations of the people are not heeded to and if they decide to vent out their anger it whatever fashion, we cannot be held responsible...It is for the Union government that has to take responsibility," Rao said. 
The report of the five-member committee headed by former Supreme Court judge that gave its recommendations after about 11 months of consultation process in the state was released by the home ministry on Thursday. 
Creation of a separate Telangana state with Hyderabad as its capital and keeping Andhra Pradesh united with constitutional and statutory measures for empowerment of the Telangana region are among the six options recommended by the Justice Srikrishna Committee.
'Final Telangana decision is govt's'
TNN, NEW DELHI: Ahead of the release of Srikrishna committee report on Telangana on Thursday, an apprehensive Congress urged the local party MPs not to rush to conclusions or react in the press till the Centre and the party took a stand on the sensitive issue.
At a meeting of Telangana MPs attended by Congress core group members, the Centre conveyed to them that the issue should not be treated as final as it was for the government to take a decision irrespective of the recommendations in the Srikrishna report.
The hope to MPs that statehood was not being rejected outright came as a relief amid indications that the committee, constituted to douse the fire after the Centre's U-turn on statehood in December 2009, had put bifurcation of AP way down its list of recommendations. While it could stoke anger among the restive locals, the leadership is worried that its legislators may come under pressure to match the local rhetoric.
Faced with strong sentiments with two MPs even breaking down at police killings and suicides by students, defence minister A K Antony sought to soothe the nerves by saying: "We understand the feeling of the people. It has been a long battle."
In the presence of Pranab Mukherjee, Antony, Ahmed Patel and Veerappa Moily, the MPs said it will not be possible for them to face the public if statehood demand was not accepted. An MP even said that calling only Telangana MPs for "counselling meeting" sent a wrong message, only to be assured by Mukherjee that Andhra MPs had also been called.
The Centre was warned about the repercussions if Telangana was not conceded. While TDP is set to create a local party unit, TRS is eager to tap the resentment among people and Jagan Mohan Reddy is looking to fish in troubled waters. "While the Andhra people are evenly divided over the state's division, Telangana is united in its favour. Congress can sweep the region by honouring its promise made in 2004," a leader said.
Reluctant to create a new state but having to ensure that it does not lead to any rebellion within, Congress may use the report to buy time and discourage any immediate reaction. Another meeting of political parties in a fortnight to discuss their response to the report is likely. Sources indicated that the Centre may spell out its final stand before the Budget session. Chief minister Kiran Kumar Reddy, here to attend the allparty meet, played down the inhouse threat. "Public representatives represent the aspirations of people. Each region has aspirations. Let us first go through the report," he told reporters, ruling out any threat to his government which enjoys a thin majority in the assembly.
While there is a strong sense of apprehension among Telangana leaders across parties, it is Congressmen who may have to face the brunt.
SDF object SPC letter BJP sought clarification on CMs Bioorganic issue 
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DLVMC meeting held 
Diwash Rai, KalimNews, Gangtok, 6th January : Meeting of the District Level Vigilance and Monitoring Committee of East District was held here at a local hotel today. The meeting was chaired by the Mr. P.D.Rai, MP, Lok Sabha who is the Chairman of the Committee and was attended by the Minister, Ms. Neeru Sewa, MLA Mr. Beg Bdr. Rai, D.C. East, DDO(East), DPO( East ), BDO’s and officers of East District, Zilla Panchayats members and Gram Panchayat representatives of East District.
Earlier, the meeting discussed about the various schemes both Centrally Sponsored and state schemes which are being implemented around the state which include MGNREGA, Indira Gandhi National Old Age Pension, PMGSY, RWSS, Jalmani in which schools are targeted for providing pure drinking water etc. The BDO presented their report on the various activities and schemes being implemented in their blocks. They also gave an overview idea on the impact of the schemes on the rural people. The meeting also had open discussion in which the Panchayat representatives raised their queries on various schemes being implemented and difficulty faced by the people.
Mr. P.D.Rai in his address said that this meeting should be held quarterly and the Block Development Officers should prepare and send their report of the activities and schemes; well in advance so that proper preparation for the meeting can be done. The meeting will be called fruitful and meaningful if the reports of the officers include outcomes of the schemes. It should include the impact of the schemes on the rural people, he added.
Siliguri gathering snub to CPRM - DM says decisions on other meets today
VIVEK CHHETRI AND AVIJIT SINHA, TT, Jan. 5: The Gorkha Janmukti Morcha today assumed the moral high ground, saying it would not obstruct the CPM from holding its meeting in the Darjeeling hills though it was almost sure that it would not be allowed to organise its rally in Siliguri.
The announcement comes after the CPRM, another hill-based party, was denied permission to hold a meeting in Siliguri. A letter signed by Siliguri subdivisional officer that was sent to the CPRM said permission “cannot be granted as per the objections raised by the police authorities”.
With the CPRM being refused permission, it is merely a formality before the Morcha, too, is not allowed to hold its proposed meeting at the same venue on January 8. The CPM, largely seen as a plains-centric party, is scheduled to hold a meeting in Darjeeling on the same day. Earlier, the Morcha had dared the CPM to prove its support base in the hills on the same day it showed off its strength in the plains.
Morcha media and publicity secretary Harka Bahadur Chhetri said: “Today’s incident has proved that there is pseudo democracy in the plains. The double-faced character of the CPM government has been laid bare.
“The party (Morcha) has already announced that we have no objections to the CPM holding a meeting in Darjeeling and we will stick to our stand. However, there is a central committee meeting of our party tomorrow and I will personally raise the question on why plains-centric parties should be allowed to hold meetings in the hills when we are not allowed to so in the plains.”
On many earlier occasions, the Morcha and its frontal organisations organised their political programmes in a manner that they coincided with that of their rivals to prevent them from holding meetings in the hills. But this time, the Morcha had promised not to obstruct the CPM meeting in the hills.
However, the hill party has already threatened to call a 72-hour strike from January 7 if the Srikrishna Committee report on the Telangana demand is favourable. In such a case, the CPM would be automatically unable to hold its meeting in Darjeeling.
The CPRM, however, made it clear that there was no difference between the Morcha and the CPM.
“The denial (of permission) on the part of the administration upon the CPM’s insistence has proved that there is no difference between Asok Bhattacharya and Bimal Gurung. Both utter lengthy commitments and speak at large on democracy but in practice, are always ready to curb the rights of other political parties. The situation is the same in Siliguri and in the hills where the CPM and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha resort to political highhandedness,” said CPRM general secretary R.B. Rai.
Sources in the district administration said there was little chance that the CPM would be permitted to hold public meetings at Chowk Bazar in Darjeeling.
Mohan Gandhi, the district magistrate of Darjeeling, said the decision was yet to be taken. “We have not received the no-objection notes from the police authorities on both these meetings (of the Morcha and the CPM), which is essential for the administration to grant permission,” he said. “We will decide on the issue latest by tomorrow evening.”
Sensing an opportunity to push the CPM, which has been crying hoarse on the need to restore democracy in the hills, on the backfoot, Chhetri said: “The CPM plans to hold the meeting in Darjeeling to talk about the state of tea gardens in the hills. They were in power for the past three decades and it is because of their misrule and insensitivity that problems have not been solved. This party is shameless and has the audacity to hold a meeting in Darjeeling which has suffered because of their insensitivity for so long.”
TNN, DARJEELING: With the Srikrishna Committee report on Telangana due on January 6, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) may call a strike in the Hills. This would be to pressure the Centre to place their demand for a separate state along with that of a Telangana state.
On the sidelines of GJM's public meeting in Darjeeling on Tuesday, party spokesperson Harka Bahadur Chhetri said: "We will take a final decision on whether to call a strike after the Srikrishna report is made public. If we are convinced that our demand for a separate state is not being discriminated against and progress is being made through the ongoing tripartite talks, we see no reason no call a bandh." The GJM leader also reiterated that the party's movement will be based on democratic lines.
On Monday, GJM assistant secretary Benoy Tamang, while addressing a party meeting in Mirik, had hinted at a three-day strike from January 7 to 9 in the Hills if the Centre gave priority only to the demand of a Telangana state.
"Our movement is different from theirs. But the common thread is the demand for a separate state," he said.
He however cautioned people not to pressure the party into taking hasty decisions that may create problems later. "We in the hills are used to taking wrong decisions in haste and then regretting later. This is the reason that our party is keeping a close watch on the proceedings and development in New Delhi," said Chhetri.
Reiterating that the interim council proposed by the Centre was the ideal solution for the hills given the present political situation in Bengal and Delhi, the GJM spokesperson said: "The interim council is a stepping stone towards a separate state. It is also a challenge for the Hills to run it well to make our credential strong to demand for a full-fledged state."
Morcha preaches rally morals to rivals Telangana ‘alert’ for hills
TT, Kalimpong, Jan. 5: The central committee of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha, which will meet in Darjeeling tomorrow to discuss the Srikrishna Committee report on Telangana immediately after it is made public in New Delhi, has asked people to be “alert”.
Addressing a public meeting at Damber Chowk here today, Morcha secretary Roshan Giri said the party would announce its future programme after discussing the Srikrishna report.
“We will request the people to remain alert tomorrow,” he said, indicating that it could intensify its agitation for Gorkhaland if the report recommends the formation of a separate state of Telangana by bifurcating Andhra Pradesh.
However, if the report is not favourable for Telangana, the Morcha will pressure the Centre to ink the deal on an interim administration for the hills at the earliest. “Either way, we should expect the Morcha to intensify its agitation in the next few days and weeks. The agitation will be either for Gorkhaland or the interim administration,” said a political observer.
Giri also reminded the people that the interim set-up was for two years, following which a final solution to meet the aspirations of the Gorkhas will have to be found. The final solution, he said, could either be a Union Territory (UT) or statehood. “There are only three arrangements that enjoy constitutional guarantee: Sixth Schedule we have already rejected. The remaining two arrangements are UT and separate state. It could be either of the two,” he added.
The Morcha leader also said the party was firm on holding its planned public meeting at Baghajatin Park in Siliguri on January 8 and was awaiting the permission of the district magistrate.
“We have allowed the CPM to hold public meetings in the hills. If we are not allowed to hold the meeting in Siliguri, it would clearly prove that democracy exists only in the hills and not in the plains.”
Bank robbery foiled
TT, Raiganj, Jan. 5: A gang of robbers tried to burgle the State Bank of India’s Mandanpur branch at Kaliaganj this morning.
Branch manager Mishar Bala said when he came to the bank around 10am today, he found all the four locks of the main gate broken. “I immediately informed police. Within half an hour, the police arrived and we entered the bank. We found wires of the vault alarm and the computers torn and some papers of the cash section strewn all over the floor,” Bala said. He added that the robbers had tried to break open the vault but failed. The bank on the first floor of Bhandar gram panchayat office had no security guards. District superintendent of police Milan Kanti Das said they had collected some clues. But no arrests were made till late in the evening.
Voters’ list
TT, Siliguri: Darjeeling district magistrate P. M.K Gandhi announced the final voters’ list of the district on Wednesday. The new list has 17,525 names and half of them are first-time voters. The list includes voters from the six Assembly constituencies of Kalimpong, Darjeeling, Kurseong, Matigara-Naxalbari, Siliguri and Phansidewa.
HMI course
TT, Siliguri: The state sports and youth affairs department has selected 14 boys and three girls for basic and advanced course at the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute on Wednesday. The department will provide scholarships to the candidates for the courses. The selection was held at Kanchenjungha Stadium.
Utsav protest
TT Jaigaon: Protesting the Dooars Utsav scheduled to begin from January 15, members of the Akhil Bharatiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad’s Dooars and Terai regional units will organise a series of agitation across the Alipurduar subdivision. The members will demonstrate at the Jaigaon police station on Thursday and submit a memorandum to the subdivisional officer of Alipurduar on January 11, protesting the event that will be organised by the state government.

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