NHRC notice to Andhra Pradesh over assault on labourers

New Delhi : The NHRC has issued notice to the Andhra Pradesh government after some forest officers of the state brutally assaulted labourers from the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, an official statement said Tuesday.

According to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the victims were extremely poor and were felling trees in a forest situated on the border between the two states in order to earn a livelihood.

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“The labourers were unaware that they had been hired by unscrupulous elements to acquire the high-value timber from the forest. The poor villagers were not aware of the legal consequences of their actions,” the NHRC said.

However, the Andhra Pradesh Police brutally assaulted the workers belonging to the border districts of Vellore, Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri in northern Tamil Nadu, the commission said, adding that there was a video clip of the entire incident.

“The law enforcement agencies can exercise their powers only in accordance with the provisions of the law. The video clips display a dismal picture of unarmed workers who were made to strip and were brutally attacked by certain persons claiming to be forest officials of Andhra Pradesh,” said the NHRC.

A notice has been issued to the chief secretary and Director General of Police of Andhra Pradesh, calling for a report within four weeks.