"Withdrawing prosecution based on Religion is against Public Interest", Andhra HC on LRPF's petition against state govt's move to withdraw prosecution against accused Muslim Youth

    24-Sep-2020   
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In May 2018, a Muslim mob had attacked the Old Guntur Police station, following which police had booked cases against the rioters and arrested many Muslim youth. However, last month the YSRCP government decided to withdraw all cases against the accused.

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In early August, the Andhra Pradesh government had issued a blatantly communal order in which it had directed the police of Mangalagiri to withdrawal prosecution of Muslim youth who were accused in mob violence and cases were registered against them in Old Guntur Police Station. The Legal Rights Protection Forum (LRPF) had filed a PIL in the AP High Court against the order.
 
On August 12, Principal Secretary, Home Department of AP government Kumar Vishwajeet had issued a GO RT No 776, stating that the state government has decided to withdraw prosecution pertain to all the cases registered against Muslim youth in Old Guntur Police Station in Guntur 'after careful examination of the matter'. The order was then directed to the DGP to issue instructions to APPs/SHOs regarding the same.
 
 
In May 2018, a Muslim mob had attacked the Old Guntur Police station while protesting against an incident of molestation of a minor boy. The mob had pelted stones on the police station, destroying several properties and few policemen on duty had received injuries. Armed Reserve Police battalions were deployed in the area following the attack. The police station was inaugurated in 2017 as a model police station.
 
Following the horrific incident, police had booked cases against the rioters and arrested many Muslim youth. However, last month the YSRCP government decided to withdraw all cases against the accused Muslim youth.
 
LRPF had filed a PIL in August after the order was issued. The High Court has now honoured the PIL and issued stay orders on AP Government's Decision. In its judgement, the HC said that "Withdrawing prosecution based on Religion is against the Public Interest". It also suggested that petitioner's advocate to make NIA as a party in case.