PMK founder S Ramadoss on Thursday condemned the Tamil Nadu government for not taking action to get around 2,700-3,000 Tamil persons out of jails in Andhra Pradesh.
In a statement issued in Chennai, Ramadoss said the Tamil detainees were languishing in the jails on false charges of smuggling Red Sanders tree.
Ramadoss said nearly 90% of detainees were arrested in Tamil Nadu and not in Andhra Pradesh.
Even if there is a bail, the Andhra Pradesh police book the detainees again under a different case preventing their release, he claimed.
He said there were around 25 cases against each Tamil detainee lodged in the Andhra jails.
Ramadoss’ statement comes days after the bodies of five men, who were found dead in an irrigation tank at Vontimitta village in Andhra Pradesh's Kadapa district, were sent back to their native villages in Tamil Nadu’s Salem district.
The men were believed to be from Karumandurai village in Salem district, and their bodies had been shifted for a post-morterm to the Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences in Kadapa.
While the cause of death is yet to be officially established, Kurnool DIG G Srinivas had said, "As of now, there are no eyewitnesses to the incident. But, our primary investigation suggests that they drowned."
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami has expressed his sorrow over the deaths and announced an ex-gratia of Rs 3 lakh to their families.
The police refuted allegations that the men were woodcutters and maintained that the men came to Kadapa from Salem in search of jobs, five days before their bodies were found.
In 2015, 20 red sanders woodcutters were killed by the police in the Seshachalam hill ranges near Tirupati in Chittoor district. Since then, the police have routinely arrested several smugglers and their workers who come from Tamil Nadu.
The Seshachalam forest is known for red sanders. The rare wood has a huge demand in the international market and is mainly used to make aphrodisiacs, musical instruments and furniture.