HC orders fresh autopsy on woodcutter killed in Andhra

Hyderabad: The Hyderabad High Court on Thursday ordered a fresh autopsy on the body of one of the 20 woodcutters killed by Andhra Pradesh Police on April 7.

A division bench directed that a team of forensic experts from Nizam's Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), Hyderabad, should conduct fresh autopsy on the body of Shashi Kumar in Chennai. The court asked the Tamil Nadu government to provide adequate security for the team to conduct autopsy.

The bench comprising Chief Justice Kalyan Jyoti Sengupta and Justice P.V. Sanjay Kumar said the autopsy report should be presented to it on next Monday. Police gunned down 20 woodcutters hired by red sander smugglers in Seshachalam forests near Tirupati in Chittoor district on April 7.

The autopsy on the deceased, all hailing from neighbouring Tamil Nadu, was conducted at a hospital in Tirupati the next day. Muniyammal, wife of one of Shashi Kumar, has lodged a complaint with the Chandragiri police seeking to register a murder case against the police personnel involved in the killing.

The Hyderabad High Court, which is the common high court for both Telangana and Andhrta Pradesh, suo moto impleaded her while dealing with a public interest litigation filed by Chilka Chandra Sekhar of the Civil Liberties Committee seeking a direction for registering a murder case against the police personnel involved in the killing.

The Andhra Pradesh government on Wednesday informed the court that a first information report was already registered against the policemen. Six bodies, including that of Shashi Kumar, are preserved at Thiruvannamalai Government Hospital in Tamil Nadu as per the order of the Madras High Court. The families of the six are seeking fresh autopsy.

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