Tamil Nadu

Seven pulled out from bus: APCLC

With politicians and rights activists stepping in to express resentment over the alleged encounter of 20 woodcutters in Seshachalam hills in the early hours of Tuesday, the demand for a comprehensive judicial inquiry gets louder.

The Andhra Pradesh Civil Liberties Committee (APCLC) has accused the government of picking up the woodcutters from a running bus and shooting them down in a fake encounter. APCLC State executive member K. Kranti Chaitanya said seven of the eight residents of Anandapuram Panchayat in Tiruvannamalai district travelling to Tirupati were taken into custody by the police near Tiruttani on the inter-state border.

An eighth member escaped the attention of police, returned home and alerted the kin of the victims. “If we find the seven as among those killed, we can conclude that the encounter is fake,” Mr. Chaitanya told The Hindu .

Indicating that the escaped person would have gone underground for obvious reasons, Mr. Chaitanya said he would be produced before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) at the appropriate time.

Demanding probe by a retired judge, he ridiculed the official version and insisted that the taskforce members had ‘indiscriminately opened fire.’ Pointing to the politician-policeman-forest staff nexus, he said killing innocent workers would never help end the menace.

Organisation for Protection of Democratic Rights (OPDR) president (Andhra Pradesh and Telangana) M. Srinivasulu flayed the State for what he termed ‘merciless killing’ of the innocent.

14 smugglers held

The Red Sanders Task Force, along with personnel of Puttur, Vijayapuram and Kallur police stations, on Tuesday night arrested 14 red sanders smugglers from Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh and seized more than four tonnes of logs worth over Rs. 2 crore.

Three SUVs, two trucks and Rs. 2.5 lakh were also recovered from them.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 5:27:59 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/seven-pulled-out-from-bus-apclc/article7083134.ece

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