The Tamil Nadu government is ready to perform a second autopsy on six of the alleged sandalwood smugglers who were killed in an encounter by the Andhra Police, if the Madras High Court allows it to.
Hearing a petition seeking a second post mortem, moved by wife of one of the deceased, Justice M Satyanarayana sought a clarification from the attorney general whether the court could order a second autopsy in the absence of an FIR and if the court had jurisdiction in the matter, as the crime had taken place in a different state.
Attorney general AG Somayaji said that the government was ready to perform one more autopsy provided the court directed. “If our autopsy has to have legal merit, then court orders would suffice,” the AG said.
The judge directed the state to preserve the bodies at the government hospital in Thiruvannamalai till Friday.
Breaking her silence on the issue, AIADMK chief J Jayalalithaa said doubts are raised about the AP police version when one saw the pictures published by newspapers and views expressed by activists. Even if they were involved in illegal smuggling of red sandalwood, whether the police has used only the necessary force is also doubtful, she said in a statement.
She urged AP CM N Chandrababu Naidu to hold necessary probe and take appropriate action.
One of the villagers who escaped from Andhra Police, Sekhar, 45, is likely to be presented before the High Court on Friday. Sekhar was travelling in a bus to Chittoor on Monday when seven of his friends were picked up by men in plain clothes.
Protests continued in Tamil Nadu for the third day on Thursday. In Chennai’s Mylapore area, a shop owned by Andhra CM N Chandrababu Naidu’s wife was vandalised and petrol bombs hurled at the branches of Andhra Bank Tuticorin.