VIJAYAWADA: Andhra Pradesh DGP JV Ramudu lost his cool when he was pointedly asked about the allegations that the victims of Seshachalam Red Sanders encounter were shot at a very close range and that there was no evidence of crossfire.
The DGP, who apparently is under fire for ‘fake encounter’ burst out at the media persons describing their searching questions as ‘non-sense’. The DGP, after reviewing the situation with officials at Police Guest House, stuck to his guns that the police opened fire in self-defence. When pointed out that the situation at the encounter site did not appear to have had exchange of fire, the DGP said though the smugglers did not have enough fire arms, the stones they were carrying were enough to kill policemen.
When asked why police had to fire from close range, Ramudu lost his temper and began shouting at the mediapersons, seeking to know whether they knew more than police. He left the media conference in a huff and returned only to express his anger once again over the way the questions were being asked. Earlier in the day at Ruia Hospital, where post-mortem examination was done on the bodies of the victims, the DGP maintained that there was nothing fishy about the encounter.
“We opened fire only after we were attacked. We did so in self-defence,” Ramudu said repeatedly, with an intent to drive home the point that there was no foul play.
He said: “Red sanders available in Seshachalam forest is national wealth. We have to protect it. The Task Force is meant for it. We are using technology to curb smuggling,” he said. To a question, he said that the police had not opened fire first. It was the smugglers who attacked the police first. So far, 5,000 smugglers were arrested and nearly 2,500 people were in jail.
Tuesday too, 60 people were taken into custody and Wednesday 10 people were arrested and precious wood was seized from them, he said.