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SIT team visits encounter spot, forest staff in dark

SIT team visits encounter spot, forest staff in dark
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The tussle for supremacy between the local forest department and the police took a toll on the Special Investigation Team which visited the Seshachalam encounter spot near Tirupati on Thursday when two members of SIT almost passed out due to dehydration with forest department staff not making arrangements for team’s visit.

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Tirupati: The tussle for supremacy between the local forest department and the police took a toll on the Special Investigation Team which visited the Seshachalam encounter spot near Tirupati on Thursday when two members of SIT almost passed out due to dehydration with forest department staff not making arrangements for team’s visit. The eight-member SIT team on Thursday visited the twin encounter spots near Srivari Mettu region where 20 Tamil Nadu-based woodcutters were gunned down by task force personnel on April 7.


The SIT members visited the Cheekateegalakona encounter spot where police and forest department staff killed 11 alleged woodcutters and also the Eethakunta encounter spot where nine other alleged woodcutters were gunned down. The SIT members were accompanied by the local police but not the forest department officials who, according to forest department sources, were kept in the dark about the visit of the SIT panel.

Two members of Special Investigation Team probing the Seshachalam encounter fell sick during their visit to the encounter spot in the forest on Thursday

The scorching sun took a toll on the SIT panel that after visiting both the encounter spots deep inside the woods were left badly dehydrated. The condition of N Yugandhar Babu, CID DSP and P Palaraju, SP rank official turned, worse as they were literally forced to lie down on under the tree covers for a while to rejuvenate. Ambulances were also rushed to the spot as a precautionary measure.


Meanwhile, SIT chief Ravishankar Ayyanar told mediapersons that the SIT panel had visited both the encounter spots and obtained inputs. Pointing out to the High Court’s directive, the SIT chief reiterated that the panel would complete the probe within the stipulated timeframe of 60 days. “After having visited the twin encounter spots, we would now meet the family members of the victims who were killed in the April 7 encounter,” said Ayyanar.


Meanwhile, reacting to the reports of ‘non-cooperation’ to the SIT panel, a senior forest department official said that the local forest department was not at all informed of the visit in the first place. “We would definitely have extended all necessary cooperation had we been intimated about the visit,” he said.

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