The Tamil Nadu Government has announced a compensation of Rs 3 lakh each to the families of 20 Red Sanders (Red Sandalwood) smugglers, who were killed in a joint operation by the Andhra Pradesh Police and Forest Officials in Chittoor district on April 7.
The AIADMK did not wait for the probe report into the incident and preferred to announce the compensation, considering the smugglers as innocent. Earlier, the NHRC had issued notice to the Andhra Government, calling it a fake encounter and mass killing even though six policemen were also injured in the encounter. The cops maintained that they opened fire in self-defence.
The Tamil Nadu Government, political parties as well as the rights groups accused the Andhra Pradesh Police of killing the labourers in cold blood. Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and briefed him about the encounter. “We are not averse to a CBI probe in this matter if needed,” he assured everyone.
The Andhra Pradesh Government has already ordered a magisterial probe into the encounter. The Andhra Police also released CCTV footage to prove the smuggling claims. However, the activists found many holes in the encounter claims by putting many questions that remained unanswered.