Tirupati: With the uproar in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu over the killing of 20 alleged smugglers of red sanders in the Seshachalam forests on Tuesday is yet to die down, the Task Force and the district machinery appeared to be in an 'extreme urgency' to see that things settle down fast. Though this is the biggest encounter in the history of the state, the cops have not come out with an official statement or an FIR even 24 hours after the incident.
- Red sanders ‘smugglers’ shot from close range
- Witness says woodcutters whisked away from bus
- Logs found at site are allegedly from govt godowns
The relatives of the seven woodcutters who came to SV Medical College mortuary and identified the bodies of Murugan (38), Moorthy (38), Mahendran (22), Palani (35), Munuswamy (34), Perumal (37) and Sashi Kumar (34), all hailing from Padavedu, Anandapuram and Kalasamuthiram of Polur taluk in Tiruvannamalai district of Tamil Nadu. Talking to the media, one of the relatives G Ravi said that a team of 8 RS woodcutters had left their villages to Tirupati Via Nagari on Monday and they were intercepted by cops near the Nagari-Puttur border same evening.
They added that while 7 of them were taken into custody by the cops, an elderly person of the group managed to evade the arrest and got back to their village. “We didn't realise something this terrible would happen. It was only on Tuesday morning that we learnt about the gory killing of our people inside the Seshachalam forests,” Ravi said in an inconsolable voice. The relatives alleged that Tuesday's killings were nothing but a fake encounter by the cops to terrorise the innocent woodcutters. They demanded the state governments to do justice and conduct a judicial enquiry over the brutal killings.