Telangana lawyers call off protest


Hyderabad: Telangana lawyers called off their protest Saturday night after the Andhra Pradesh government agreed to provide 42 percent share to the region in the appointment of judicial officers.

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The unprecedented crisis in the state judiciary triggered by the lawyers’ protest was resolved when the government gave a written assurance to Telangana lawyers’ joint action committee (JAC).

The government promised to ensure “equitable” representation to Telangana in three weeks. It also agreed to consider withdrawing cases against lawyers.

However, the JAC appeared to have dropped its demand for resignation of Advocate General D.V. Seetharama Murthy and appointment of a person from Telangana in his place.

After successful talks with JAC leaders this evening, a three-member ministerial group drove to Gandhi Hospital and offered juice to three lawyers, marking the end of their six-day-long hunger strike.

The three lawyers, whom the police forcibly shifted from the high court premises to the Gandhi Hospital early Friday, had earlier refused to call off their fast till the lawyers’ quota demand was met.

The crisis was resolved hours after JAC gave a call for “chalo secretariat” Monday and appealed to lawyers in all Telangana districts to rush to Hyderabad.

Violent protests by Telangana lawyers within the high court premises for the last four days had paralysed the court. One of the judges, Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy, whose court hall was targeted repeatedly by the lawyers, resigned Thursday.

Since Saturday is a holiday for the high court, Chief Justice Nisar Ahmed Kakru called Justice Reddy to his residence to persuade him to withdraw his resignation. After the meeting, Justice Reddy agreed to withdraw his resignation.

To express solidarity with the agitating lawyers, all educational institutions in Telangana region were shut down Saturday in response to a call given by Osmania University joint action committee.

The lawyers and Osmania University students Friday took out separate rallies to the high court and clashed with the police.