The stalemate over the agitation of Telangana lawyers who are seeking 42 percent share in the appointment of judicial officers continued on Saturday as the hunger strike by three lawyers went on for the sixth day. The three lawyers, whom the police forcibly shifted from the high court premises to the Gandhi Hospital early Friday, have refused to call off their fast till the lawyers’ quota demand is met.
The talks between the Andhra Pradesh government and representatives of Telangana lawyers’ Joint Action Committee (JAC) on Friday evening remained inconclusive.
State Minister for Information and Public Relations J. Geeta Reddy told the lawyers that she would convey their demands to Chief Minister K. Rosaiah. She met Rosaiah on Saturday morning to brief him about her discussions with the agitating lawyers.
Geeta Reddy is one of the three members who constitute the ministerial group set up to find a solution to the lawyers’ agitation. Two other ministers, who come from outside Telangana, did not attend the talks with the lawyers, bringing to fore the serious differences in the cabinet over the issue.
State Law Minister M. Venkataramna Rao and Forest Minister Peddireddy Ramachandra Reddy are the other members of the panel. The law minister has already drawn flak from his Congress party MPs from Telangana for criticising the lawyers’ demand.
Telangana lawyers are also demanding the resignation of Advocate General D.V. Seetharama Murthy, appointment of a man from Telangana in his place and withdrawal of cases registered against protesters.
Violent protests by Telangana lawyers within the high court premises for the last four days has paralysed the court. One of the judges, Justice C.V. Nagarjuna Reddy, whose court hall was targeted repeatedly by the lawyers, resigned on 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.
To express solidarity with the agitating lawyers, all educational institutions in Telangana region were shut down on Saturday in response to a call given by Osmania University Joint Action Committee.
The lawyers and Osmania University students on Friday took out separate rallies to the high court and clashed with the police.