Chittoor killings: Hyderabad High Court asks Andhra govt why no case for unnatural death of 20 ‘smugglers’

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Hyderabad/Chennai: The Hyderabad High Court on Friday directed Andhra Pradesh government to register a case of murder under Section 302 in the encounter of 20 red sanders ‘smugglers’ in Seshachalam hill ranges near Tirupathi in Andhra Pradesh.

A division bench comprising of Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice PV Sanjay Kumar were hearing a petition moved by Chilaka Chandra Sekhar, general secretary of the Civil Liberties Committee, seeking a direction to book case under Section 302 of IPC (Murder) against the police personnel involved in the encounter and also demanded CBI probe into the incident.

D Srinivas, additional advocate general, said the government has already ordered Magisterial enquiry and National Human Rights Commission has also issued notices to the AP government in this regard.

The bench adjourned the case to Monday.

Earlier, the Madras High Court refused to order another postmortem on the bodies of six alleged red sanders ‘smugglers’ from Tamil Nadu killed by the Andhra Pradesh police.

However, the Madras court refused to order fresh postmortem of the bodies and reportedly asked the petitioners to move an appropriate court in Andhra Pradesh.

The court’s direction was in response to a petition filed by one Muniammal of Polur of Thiruvannamalai district, wife of one of those killed, which came up for hearing before Justice M Sathyanarayanan.

She had sought conducting a re-postmortem on the body of her husband, killed in the alleged encounter by Andhra Pradesh police in the Seshachalam Forests near Tirupathi on Tuesday.

Counsel for the petitioner K Balu submitted that apart from the bullet injuries, there were cut mark injuries also on the body of Sasikumar. He further contented that chemicals were also spread on the body.

AIADMK General Secretary Jayalalithaa on Thursday expressed doubts over the encounter and urged AP Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu to initiate action based on a fact-finding probe.

She also announced a relief of Rs two lakh each to the next of kin of those killed in the encounter on behalf of her party, adding that state Ministers, MPs and MLAs of the respective districts will hand over the same to the families in person.

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