1. What do we call it -
Seshachalam encounter or Chittoor Encounter or Tirupati Encounter?
2. So far, the names doing the
rounds are Chittoor Encounter and Tirupati Encounter. The 'alleged' encounter
took place in Seshachalam forests in Chittoor district. Incidentally, the forests
surround the Tirupati city that falls in Chittoor district. So, where should
the semiotics go? Or, the name doesn't matter given the scale of the calamity?
3. Should it be termed an
encounter or a massacre? Is it a genocide, a stage-managed encounter or a
police cleansing operation aimed at the cleaning the society?
4. Did the police do its job?
Cannot it separate a woodcutter from a red-sandalwood smuggler? Incidentally,
all of those dead are woodcutters, with relatives crying hoarse over their
5. The Red Sanders Anti-Smuggling
Task Force (RSASTF) of Andhra Pradesh Police, the elite unit - how can it be do
dumb and anti-human in killing so many people while none of its members are
even seriously injured?
6. How can RSASTF explain
decomposed bodies and red-sandalwood logs with white paints and code found at
the encounter site?
7. Going by the precedent of
Indian policing, there are chances that it is yet another stage-managed
encounter, but with an abnormally high death toll. Can we buy the statement of a
major person attached with the ground level-ops that they were so well prepared
that the smugglers couldn't harm them?
8. Irrespective of which side is
the truth in this case, the police botched it up and botched it up bad. There
are 20 dead and they are called smugglers by a police unit with no one injured.
Going by the past, security personnel have been killed regularly by
red-sanders? Who will buy the police statement then?
9. It was in a dense forest, some
10 Kms from human habitation that the encounters took place. In such
circumstances and going by the past history, it is quite bizarre to note it
down that police party escaped unharmed and smugglers also chose to attack a
fully equipped a police unit with archaic weapons - stones, sickles, axes in
this case. Smugglers chose to take on a fully equipped party with archaic
weapons only, and that too in a forest, and all policemen escaped unharmed. The
whole sequence of events is bizarre, isn't it?
10. As expected, it has created
tension between two states - all the slain are from Tamil Nadu - and the cops
are from an elite unit of Andhra Pradesh Police. Aren't we staring at yet
another issue of tussle between two states that will take a long time to
11. Rights groups from both
states as well as the national and international bodies have taken note of the incident. NHRC
(National Human Rights Commission) has taken suo moto cognizance. Hearing a
petition to launch CBI inquiry into the case, the High Court today asked the
Andhra Pradesh government to file a written submission in the case within two
days. Amnesty International has written on it. A storm is brewing that is to snowball in
coming days. Isn't is going to cost dear to the RSASTF and therefore the state
12. No one from the state
government so far has taken the 'responsibility' or 'laurels' except the
officials directly involved in it. A magisterial probe has been ordered. Chandrababu
Naidu is tight-lipped. Ministry of Home Affair at Centre has been briefed by him. Tamil Nadu CM O. Panneerselvam is
demanding a 'credible' probe. Opposition parties and Andhra Pradesh and
political parties in Tamil Nadu have created a big issue over the 'alleged'
encounter and it is going to get heightened as more and more truth comes out. Is
the episode a setback for Chandrababu Naidu? Is he dealing with the another
'Hashimpura' with South India's biggest encounter of the history?