news Thursday, April 09, 2015 - 05:30
Seven of the total twenty killed in an ‘encounter’ in the Seshachalam forest area early Tuesday morning were actually picked up on Monday while travelling on a bus by the Andhra police .  This was the claim made by 45 year-old Sekhar, who said that he along with seven others had been on their way to Tirupati , the place from where they had to travel to the forests for red sanders. Sekhar who has been hiding in his village ever since he returned told the Indian Express that the Andhra police who had apprehended the seven men were dressed in plainclothes.  “I don’t know the exact place where they stopped,” he said when asked where the bus had been stopped. According to reports, Sekhar had escaped as he had been sitting next to a woman who was thought to be his wife. After the others were taken away, he returned to his village.  His return to his village on Tuesday morning coincided with the shoot down of 20 “smugglers” in the forests of Seshachalam forests near Tirupati by the Andhra Pradhesh Special Task Force. The police had claimed that they had responded when the men had attacked them with sickles and axes.    It was then that he informed his village panchayat head about the arrests of his seven companions. What does he plan to do now? “I am very afraid,” he said explaining that if someone from the court or the police asked him anything, he would be willing to talk. At the scene of the 'encounter' in the Seshachalam forest Those shot dead belonging to Salem, Athur and Arur have already been cremated. According to Sun TV, as Sasikumar from Kallikattu in Athur had multiple injuries on his body, his wife, Muniammal has moved the High Court for an investigation. Madras HC has ordered that the other 6 labourers who are to be cremated tomorrow must also be investigated upon again. More information will be available at a later date as the encounter did not happen in Madras premises and is outside the jurisdiction of the Madras High Court. The cremation of all seven labourers from Tiruvannamalai has been stopped until Friday under orders by the Madras High Court for further post-mortem.  In Tiruvannamalai, a struggle broke out between the police who were handling a refrigerated box containing the body of one of the labourers as the crowd became angry that no officials apart from the CB-CID had been present.