TIRUPATI:Perhaps, the weapons used to kill Tamil Nadu loggers in the encounter might be same as those used regularly by the Special Task Force teams to conduct combing operations in the forest areas. Before the encounter that took place a couple of days back, the combing teams, comprising 11 members, were said to be carrying AK47 and Self-Loading Rifles (SLR), sources said. Human rights and people’s organisations raised doubts over the encounter, but the major point that that was missed is “What weapons were used by the combing parties?”. According to sources, during the post-mortem the special medical team found that the vital organs of the deceased woodcutters got pierced with bullets. It is clear that the combing parties have used the massive weapons that can create such heavy impact. It is a regular exercise for the combing parties of Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling Task Force to carry weapons like AK47 and SLR. After the Special Task Force was allowed to use such weapons officially, the confidence of combing parties in curbing the red sanders smuggling got boosted. The bullet-firing that gunned down 20 red sanders woodcutters is called ‘burst-firing’. When a person comes in contact with the slug that is fired in the ‘burst-firing’ mode, he will be torn into pieces. “In the encounter, the body parts were scattered. This happens only in burst-firing,” a source said. It is, however, yet to be known whether combing parties resorted to shoot-out without giving any prior warning. Meanwhile, the condition of the cops involved in the encounter, admitted in Sri Venkateswara Ramnarayana Ruia Government Hospital (SVRRGH) for treatment, is said to be stable. Heavy security was arranged at the ward with clear instructions by the hospital authorities to not allow outsiders and mediapersons.
COMBING ON: Suspecting the presence of red sanders smugglers in the Seschalam forest, the forest department is still continuing its combing operation. The operation is held in 12 locations under the surveillance of 40 cameras. “We suspect illegal export of logs in the forest areas. The exit and entry points of the forest have been blocked by the combing parties.