The incident of 20 Tamilians being killed by AP police is fast turning into a Tamil Nadu – A.P. dispute with former alleging that its people were killed in “cold blood”. In a press conference, it was also reported by Tamil Nadu human right activists that one of the men had managed to escape being killed and had returned to his home state. He had shared his experience first hand and reported that his colleagues were first arrested a day prior to the killings so they could not have been killed in an ‘encounter’ the next day.
The Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday announced a compensation of Rs.3 lakh each to families of the 20 people, mostly Tamils, killed by police in Andhra Pradesh as sporadic protests took place in Tamil Nadu against the widely condemned killings.
As a section of lawyers urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ensure justice to those slain “in cold blood”, the Tamil Nadu government said it would pay ex-gratia to the families of those killed in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday while allegedly smuggling the precious red sanders wood.
The turmoil between the two states could have turned uglier when some people in Chennai gathered near spots frequented by Andhraites.
These included the Andhra Club at T Nagar, branches of Andhra Bank and the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD) Information Centre, where police were deployed to prevent violence.
A TTD Information Centre was attacked at Vellore, while a toll booth owned by a company run by an Andhraite was targeted at Trichy.
At the Andhra Club, activists of “Naam Tamilar Katchi” and “Periyar Dravidar Katchi” shouted slogans and demanded justice to families of the Tamil labourers who were shot dead.
Bus services between Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu were hit for the second straight day. The corporations which run the services suspended them as a precaution.
Central minister Pon Radhakrishnan of the BJP condemned the killings and alleged that the Tamil woodcutters were killed to cover up the real culprits behind the smuggling of red sanders wood.
“The Andhra Pradesh government has to answer for this,” he told a news channel.
Congress leader E.V.K.S. Elangovan reiterated his demand for an impartial investigation and action against what he described as the guilty police personnel.
Officials said a team headed by the Tiruvallur district collector and comprising revenue officials would visit Tirupati to bring back the bodies of the victims, who were mainly from Tiruvannamalai and Vellore districts.
Relatives of the victims would accompany the team to identify the bodies.
Another team headed by a senior police officer would also visit Tirupati to see the post-mortem of the bodies, a Tamil Nadu government statement said.