The gunning down of 20 workers evoked anger and outrage in Tamil Nadu, with Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam demanding a credible probe and compensation for the victims.
While political parties condemned the “disproportionate use of force”, a few minor outfits took to the streets and attacked a few buses belonging to Andhra Pradesh.
As news broke that most of those shot dead were from Tamil Nadu, parties began questioning the “indiscriminate firing.” While most conceded the victims may have been engaged in illegal activities, they said the perpetrators should have been apprehended and not killed.
Mr. Panneerselvam shot off a letter to his Andhra Pradesh counterpart, voicing his distress. He doubted if the task force personnel had acted with sufficient restraint, given the high number of casualties.
DMK president M. Karunanidhi said both State governments had to bear responsibility for the deaths, as there were earlier incidents of firing directed against red sanders smugglers.