Accusing the Andhra Pradesh government of wrongly using its powers, DMK leader MK Stalin on Wednesday termed as a blatant human rights violation the ‘fake encounter’ in which 20 people, many of them Tamils, were killed and demanded a judicial probe by a sitting judge.
“My anguish is that the Andhra Pradesh government wrongly used its powers. The police action is not only a blatant human rights violation, but has also deprived the labourers of their right to defend themselves legally,” he said, adding the encounter was shocking.
He demanded that a judicial probe by a sitting judge be ordered.
Stalin said though smuggling of red-sanders is illegal and must be prevented, use of force beyond the limit even for self-defence was unacceptable.
Empathising with the slain labourers, he expressed condolences to the kin of those killed.
“The labourers were hired by tree-smugglers. News reports say that the encounter was not unexpected and that these were deliberate killings, a fake encounter.”
The senior DMK leader did not spare the ruling AIADMK too on the issue.
“It is condemnable that this inactive benami regime is handling the issue in a careless fashion though reports say that tension prevailed in Andhra Pradesh-Tamil Nadu borders,” he alleged.
The 20 people, many of them woodcutters from the state, were gunned down on charges of red sanders smuggling in the forests near Tirupati but the Andhra Pradesh government maintained that it was an encounter during which the police was attacked.