NEW DELHI: National Commission for Scheduled Tribes will send a team, led its vice chairman, to Chittoor in Andhra Pradesh to "ascertain facts", where 20 people were killed in a police firing.
The Commission's decision comes in wake of a petition that majority among the deceased were from tribal communities hailing from neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
"We have taken a decision to send our team headed by vice chairman Ravi Thakur to ascertain facts. The team would be visiting the spot where the firing was reported apart from holding discussions with government authorities," NCST Chairman Rameshwar Oraon told PTI.
Asked whether it was a fact finding team, he reiterated that the team would ascertain facts.
Noting that the NCST team would be leaving in another four days, he said the Commission has also sought a report from the Andhra Pradesh over the police firing.
"The Commission has written to the Government of Andhra Pradesh seeking a report about the police firing," Oraon said.
The NCST move comes a day after the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) directed Andhra Pradesh to conduct a probe by a Judicial Magistrate in the incident.
The NHRC had also directed the Andhra Pradesh government to ensure that names of all forest and police officials, who were on duty and were part of the STF be submitted to the NHRC on or before April 22.
Twenty people from Tamil Nadu were gunned down in a police operation in Seshachalam hill ranges of Chittoor district on April 7.
Several political parties have questioned the police action, saying labourers and not red sanders smugglers were killed by the Andhra Pradesh STF.