J. Balaji

NEW DELHI: Justice B.N. Srikrishna Committee’s Member-Secretary V.K. Duggal on Thursday made it clear that there was no question of change or modification in the committee’s terms of reference (ToR) announced by the Centre. The committee, among other things, has been asked to go into the demands for “separate Telangana” and “united Andhra Pradesh.”

Mr. Duggal, who was talking to The Hindu here, was reacting to a question that some Telangana leaders were hoping that ToR might be modified. He quipped: “The ToR have been decided at the highest level of the Central government and the Home Ministry with the approval of the Cabinet. Let me make it clear that there will be no question of change in ToR whatsoever.”

Mr. Duggal said the committee’s notice inviting suggestions/views from the political parties, social organisations and other stakeholders would be released on February 20 in English, Telugu, Hindi and Urdu newspapers. The reply could be in the form of letters, petitions and memorandum.

The committee’s preliminary works had already started and it was contacting experts and researchers to get their views. In fact, some of those interested on the issue had already started contacting the committee seeking opportunities to air their opinions.Mr. Duggal, who is a former Union Home Secretary, said he would visit Hyderabad on February 23 or 24 to hold discussions with the Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary and DGP on the infrastructure, security, administrative and secretarial arrangements for the committee so that it could start its hearings in March there. He also said that the committee would present a “very impartial, honest and faithful” report to the Centre and it would contain social, political and economic angles.