Unwarranted row - Bhandaru Srinivas Rao (I.I.S.)
High-profile Dr Jayaprakash Narayan of Lok Satta is in eye of a storm. His remarks on the floor of the AP Legislative Assembly on 'withdrawal' of cases against students indeed kicked up a row. He had not volunteered to speak, but was asked to express his opinion by the Deputy Speaker, Mr Nadendla Manohar, while dealing with the 'issue of withdrawing cases against those agitating students for separate statehood", along with other floor leaders of various parties.
Being honest IAS officer all though, what he felt he expressed it more explicitly. All he said was law should take its own course in case of those who really indulged in arson, looting and extortion. In the same breath he said petty cases registered against those students can be withdrawn. If one looks at his remarks, none should find fault. But, ironically it has come at wrong time when tempers boiling high. This was when the separatist Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) determined to stall the business in the six-day assembly which begun on Friday. Comes rebuttal from the TRS young leader K T R Rao, son of the TRS President K Chandrasekhara Rao; "it’s an insult to the entire student community of the region and sought an unconditional apology." He also went to the extent of warning the former bureaucrat-turned politician of dire consequences and his movements in the city will be put to threat.
This was followed by quick pro and against protests. As a result, the Osmania University JAC held protests burning the effigies of JP (as the bureaucrat popularly known in the state). The Andhra University Students JAC too indulged in burning the effigy of the TRS leaders in their region to register their protest.
Perhaps, JP's remarks might have come in the backdrop of state police suspecting some anti-social elements indulgence during the riots and arson in the campus and elsewhere in Telangana region. More over, as a genuine concerned of student community, perhaps, he might have made such remarks. As a matter of fact, as per the law once a case is registered, it cannot be withdrawn, without trial. Can a person, who indulges in arson (burning or damaging public property) or extortion (forcible collection of money), be allowed to go scot free? Should that form part of a student's academic curriculum or pursuits? However, emotive an issue may be, law of the land spares none.
At the most, stone pelting in the recent agitation can be treated as a 'petty' case. But certainly not burning of public property like buses and extortion from business houses! If any government permit such persons go scot- free, then it would be setting a wrong precedent and future agitations, for whatever may be reasons, bound to turn more volatile and dangerous.
Having said that it also the responsibility of government to ensure that 'justice' done to the student community too! There are allegations that the police exceeded its brief while dealing with agitating students on the campus. Gory reports appeared in a section of press stating that the police not only beat up stone-pelting students, but also journalists covering it. I remember reading a report with visual how an irresponsible police official pie on a floored TV camera journalist, who was running for cover. In that backdrop, the police too might have acted in partisan manner by registering false cases. Who is right and who is wrong can be known, if one carefully examine video clips of all TV channels.
I also remember reading of a report in which none other than the Home Minister Sabita Indra Reddy apologising on behalf of police for their high handedness in OU campus.
As an observer feel, nothing wrong in demanding for withdrawal of cases against those students against whom false cases were foisted, instead wholesome, I also equally feel no fault in JP's remarks. (11-12-2010)