National Human Rights Commission on Tuesday issued a notice to Andhra Pradesh government seeking a report on the killing of 20 alleged red sanders smugglers by police in the state, observing that the incident “involved a serious violation” of human rights of individuals.
NHRC Member Justice D Murugesan observed the opening of firing cannot be justified on the ground of “self defence” since it resulted in the loss of lives of 20 persons.
According to an NHRC statement, notices have been issued to the Chief Secretary and the DGP of Andhra Pradesh calling for report explaining the act of police and forest officials within two weeks.
The matter will be taken up for hearing in the camp sitting of the Commission to be held at Hyderabad on April 23.
The notices were issued after the Commission took suo motu cognizance of media reports that 20 alleged red sanders smugglers were killed in firing by a joint team of special police and forest personnel in the Seshachalam forests of Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh, in the early hours today.
Police and forest officials claimed they opened fire as the smugglers attacked them with stones, axes and knives.
The matter was immediately brought to the notice of Justice D Murugesan who is in Thiruvananthapuram in connection with a camp sitting of the Commission.
The Commission has also noted that a similar incident was reported from the bordering districts of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu in December, 2014 wherein Andhra Pradesh forest officials were seen physically torturing and assaulting a man in a naked position and reports are awaited from concerned authorities and the issue is under consideration of the Commission, the statement added.