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Panel secret note talks of controlling media, politicians

The Telangana crisis is back to haunt the Congress and the question that the UPA leadership will now face on a secret note in the Srikrishna Committee's report will bring more embarrassment. Prasad Nichenametla reports.

delhi Updated: May 17, 2011 23:17 IST
Prasad Nichenametla

The Telangana crisis is back to haunt the Congress and the question that the UPA leadership will now face on a secret note in the Srikrishna Committee's report will bring more embarrassment.

Though the committee's report was made public in December offering six options for the state, an all-important note on law and order and internal security dimensions (Chapter 8) was withheld from the public view, with a copy submitted in sealed cover to the home ministry.

The contents of the note were revealed after an Andhra Pradesh high court order recently, where Justice L Narasimha Reddy pointed that the committee set up by the UPA government acted in a partial manner highlighting the terrible effects of separation — spurt of Maoist elements, rise of jihadi elements and socio-economic imbalance.

The note, according to excerpts quoted by Justice Reddy, goes to the extent of advising the government on how to mange the politicians ( from Telangana) and journalists (media house owners and beat reporters) in order to effectively curb the Telangana movement.

A group of about 700 journalists from Telangana have camped in the Capital equipped with excerpts of a secret note of the Srikrishna Committee report on separate statehood. The forum, which sought an appointment with the Prime Minster and UPA chair is holding a public meeting on Wednesday to be attended by BJP leaders and those backing the statehood demand.

Proponents of Telangana like TRS who turned down the committee from the beginning say the note reveals the true nature of the government's intention of setting up a committee and demands scrapping of the report.

“The Committee recommendations are to subvert democracy and continue united Andhra Pradesh. The high court order reveals that it made recommendations on managing the political parties, media and also listed draconian steps to crush the student-spearheaded movement. It went to the extent of suggesting the type of bullets to be used,” said a statement of Telangana Journalist Forum.

“We fail to take forward the Telangana struggle if we do not understand the contents the secret note,” Zaheeruddin Ali Khan, one of the convenors and managing editor of the leading Urdu daily Siasat said.

The matter (of revealing the chapter) is pending before a division bench of the Andhra high court.