Hyderabad: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has recommended inquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the Chittoor encounter where 20 alleged sandalwood smugglers were killed.
The commission has also recommended Rs 5 lakh compensation as interim relief for the families of those killed. The Tamil Nadu government announced a compensation of Rs 3 lakh each for the deceased.
The commission had on April 7 issued a notice to AP government seeking a report on the killing of 20 people in police firing near Tirupati, observing that the incident "involved a serious violation" of human rights of individuals.
Police said they shot dead the 20 smugglers in Chittoor district on April 7, 2015 after being attacked with sickles and other weapons in two places in Seshachalam forest, about 500 km from Hyderabad.
Eleven people were killed at Pacchinodu Banda and nine near Etagunta. "We are ascertaining the number of policemen injured," Rao said.
Classified as endangered in the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List, red sanders fetch Rs 25 lakh a tonne abroad. It is used in aphrodisiac drugs and to make musical instruments and furniture.