The Supreme Court on Monday took suo motu cognisance of a horrific incident of chopping off the right hands of two migrant labourers from Odisha by a contractor from Andhra Pradesh in December 2013.

Taking cognisance of a media report on the incident, a bench of Chief Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi issued notice to Chief Secretaries of Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.

According to the report, the incident occurred near a jungle in Belpada village in Kalahandi district of Odisha when the two labourers were being taken back to their homes to recover the money paid to them in advance when they were hired.

They were being taken back as they had refused to work in a brick kiln in Raipur district of Chhattisgarh.

On the way back, the contractor and his accomplice chopped off the right hands of the two workers, the report said.

The police have launched a manhunt for the contractor and his accomplice.