A day after its terms of reference were announced by the government, the Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee on the Telangana issue held its first meeting here on Saturday.
The meeting of the five-member panel, presided over by its Chairman, the retired Supreme Court judge, Justice Srikrishna, chalked out plans, including visits to Hyderabad and other places, while examining the demands for carving out a separate State of Telangana and the status quo on maintaining the unity of Andhra Pradesh.
The committee, which has been given time till December 31 to submit its report, will visit Hyderabad “very soon” and hold discussions with all stakeholders.
“We have chalked out certain plans. We propose to have interactions with all sections of society as soon as possible. We will ascertain their views. We will also hold a series of meetings with different strata of people in the affected areas,” Justice Srikrishna told reporters after a three-hour meeting.
He said the committee would “try and see what can be done on the issue so that all people are happy and there is peace and prosperity throughout the State without giving rise to violence and internecine quarrels.”
Member-Secretary V.K. Duggal said the committee would have its second meeting on February 25.
Asked about protests over the issue, Justice Srikrishna said, “I am not worried about protests. We will do our job and present the report and it is for the government to take a decision.” On the tenure of the committee which is till December 31 this year, Justice Srikrishna said he had headed many panels in the past and completed the task “in two-thirds time.”
Mr. Duggal, a former Home Secretary, said that though the committee would have its headquarters in the capital, it would travel to Hyderabad and other parts of Andhra Pradesh, if needed.
“The committee will issue a public notice in newspapers in Delhi and Hyderabad. All interested groups, people, outfits and trade organisations can send memorandum and their views to us. We will examine them and submit a report to the government. We want to finish this job as quickly as possible,” he said.
Earlier, as the meeting began, seven students, including some girls, tried to stage a protest outside its venue, Vigyan Bhawan, but they were detained by the police. Elaborate security arrangements were made outside the venue.
The seven-point terms of reference has mandated the committee to “examine the situation in the State of Andhra Pradesh with reference to the demand for a separate State of Telangana as well as the demand for maintaining the present status of united Andhra Pradesh.”