Case of murder, abduction against unknown cops in Andhra encounter case

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Hyderabad/New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 15, 2015 14:32 IST

A case of murder and abduction has been filed against unknown policemen in the controversial killing of 20 alleged red sanders smugglers in the forests of Chittoor on April 7.

"The case has been registered under Sec 302 IPC and (an Andhra) court has categorically stated that investigation will be monitored by honorable High Court. We will demand… that investigation should be entrusted to independent agency like CBI," a lawyer in the case of the alleged staged encounter, K Ragunath said.

"Tomorrow (Thursday), there will be arguments on whether a re-post-mortem should be ordered or not on the body. And, before that the Court said, you bring the autopsy report, so that they can go into that. Whether the allegations made are true or not will be seen tomorrow," he added.

Rights groups earlier called for a full investigation into the death of the 20 suspected illegal loggers, killed when police opened fire in the Andhra forest, notorious for sandalwood smuggling.

The head of the anti-smuggling task force behind the killings said his officers acted in self-defence after they were attacked by men armed with axes, sticks and stones in the remote forest of Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh state.

But local activists have questioned that account and accused police of regularly using excessive force on wood-cutters, many of whom are poor migrant workers from the neighbouring Tamil Nadu.

The National Human Rights Commission has issued notices to the chief secretary and the DGP of Andhra Pradesh, calling for an explanation for the act of the police and forest officials within two weeks.

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