HYDERABAD: A division Bench of Hyderabad High Court on Friday directed the Andhra Pradesh police to submit by April 28 the diary of cases registered after the killing of 20 Tamil Nadu wood cutters in the Seshachalam reserve forest encounter near Tirupati, Chittoor district.
The Bench comprising Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice PV Sanjay Kumar passed the directive in a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Chilka Chandra Sekhar of Civil Liberties Committee.
The PIL wanted a CBI probe into the case and to register Section 302 IPC (murder) against police personnel involved in the encounter on April 7. When the matter came up for hearing on Friday, the additional advocate general (AAG) Dammalapati Srinivas informed the Bench that the AP Government had formed a special investigation team (SIT) headed by an IGP to probe the incident. Besides, the government was awaiting the forensic experts’ report on the first autopsy, Srinivas informed the Bench. The Bench asked the AAG whether any arrest was made and any person examined in the case. It also asked about the progress in the probe. In reply, the AAG said at present no details were available.
The petitioner’s counsel V Raghunath urged the Bench to order a CBI probe into the incident for an impartial inquiry. He complained that the Government had failed to disclose the names of officers involved in the encounter.
The Bench was not inclined to order a CBI probe and asserted that any police officer could do the job. It asked the petitioner’s counsel to prove his allegation of a biased probe by placing all required evidence before the court. The aim was to see that the probe was impartial. At this stage, there was no need to disclose names, the Bench added and posted the matter to next Tuesday (April 28).
Meanwhile just as the AAG informed the High Court, the Andhra Pradesh government has formed an SIT for a thorough probe into the encounter in Seshachalam reserve forest. DGP J V Ramudu on Friday said the SITwould be headed by senior IPS officer Ravi Shankar Ayyanar, IG of Police, who was just repatriated from Central deputation with the National Investigation Agency.