On Sunday, the residents of Vontimitta from Kadapa district in Andhra Pradesh found 5 lifeless bodies floating in a lake. Around 30 red sanders and woodcutters from Tamil Nadu (TN) arrived in a lorry along with a few labourers. On Friday night, a shootout took place between the Special Task Force (STF) and red sanders at the Seshachalam forests.
The SFT is said to have opened fire after the smugglers allegedly pelted stones at them. The STF said they were woodcutters from TN and also they had arrested 5 of them during the shootout. A group of smugglers ran towards Vonitimitta tank and jumped inside to escape the officials. It is presumed the tank filled with mud led to the men drowning after getting stuck.
Kadapa Officer on Special Duty (OSD) operations Adnan Nayeem Asmi said the local police received information about the bodies on Sunday. Nayeem further added, “We thoroughly checked all the nearby police stations, including neighbouring districts, about any missing cases, but no cases were registered.”
The bodies were removed and sent for postmortem. No clues have arisen except for the photograph of a woman found in the pocket of one of the deceased.
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