Doubting the “self-defence” theory of the Andhra Pradesh Police who had gunned down 20 woodcutters from Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, AIADMK general secretary Jayalalithaa on Thursday asked the Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister to conduct an inquiry to bring out the truth and take action accordingly.
Breaking her silence on the Andhra Pradesh shootout in Seshachalam forests, Jayalalithaa in a statement in Chennai said she was pained and grieved to hear the news of the firing and the high casualties.
“The statements of the activists and seeing the published photographs raise doubts if the Andhra Pradesh police were justified in their action,” she said. Even if it can be considered the labourers were involved in the smuggling of red sanders, it remains doubtful if the red sanders anti-smuggling unit had only used the required force, the former Chief Minister said.
She also granted a solatium of Rs. 2 lakh from the party funds to the families of each of the deceased. The cheques will be personally given to the families by State Ministers, MPs, MLAs and senior leaders.
Jayalalithaa’s statement has come in the wake of criticism of her maintaining a silence on the human rights violation that has shocked the nation. On Thursday, the families and relatives of victims in Tiruvannamalai district had refused to cremate the bodies and criticised the government as Ministers and Collector had not even visited the grieving families despite the nature and number of deaths.