TIRUPATI: The Andhra Pradesh police’s spin on firing in self-defence at 20 Tamil Nadu loggers suffered a body blow on Wednesday as post-mortem reports revealed that the bullets that caused their death were shot from a very close range. The slugs pierced the vital organs of the victims which led to their death, medical sources said after forensic experts conducted the autopsy at the Sri Venkateswara Ramnarain Ruia Government General Hospital here.
The bodies, which arrived at the hospital during the wee hours, had started decomposing by then as they were reportedly kept in sunlight for several hours at the encounter site. Because of this, the forensic team faced problems during the autopsy, an official said. The autopsy found that the major organs of the victims were badly injured with gunshot wounds, while the limbs were also found to have injuries. In one body, the experts found two bullets in the chest region and four wounds on the back.
According to the sources, top administration officials and hospital authorities were involved in making arrangements for the post-mortem since 2 am in order to complete the exercise by 2 pm so that the bodies could be handed over to the relatives latest by 4 pm. The experts began the post-mortem examination at 9 am. Five doctors and 10 supporting staff were drafted in for the work. “The post-mortem team comprised three surgeons from the forensic, pathology and general surgery departments,” said a senior medical officer.
After examining the bodies the team concluded that the victims were shot from a ‘very close range’. “Most of the deceased sustained injuries in the major organs with bullets that were shot from a very short distance. Maybe the bullets were fired from a very close range,” said sources.