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Friday, Oct 18, 2019

AIADMK leader arrested for putting up hoarding that fell on 23-yr-old techie

A special team of the Chennai police arrested S Jayagopal, a former AIADMK councillor, from a resort in Denkanikottai near Hosur, about 315 km from here, where he was staying.

india Updated: Sep 27, 2019 21:25 IST
MC Rajan
MC Rajan
Hindustan Times, Chennai
Subasri, 23-year-old techie, who died when a hoarding fell on her. (HT Photo)
Subasri, 23-year-old techie, who died when a hoarding fell on her. (HT Photo)
         

A fortnight after the death of a young techie when a banner came crashing down on her in the middle of the road in south Chennai, prime accused in the case, an absconding AIADMK functionary who erected the flex board, was arrested in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu on Friday evening.

A special team of the Chennai police arrested S Jayagopal, a former AIADMK councillor, from a resort in Denkanikottai near Hosur, about 315 km from here, where he was staying.

He had been evading arrest since September 12, when the 23-year-old techie, Subasri, riding a scooter near Medavakkam, was fatally run over by a water tanker from behind after the huge banner fell upon her. The banner was one among the many put up on the entire stretch of the road for his son’s marriage. She was returning home from work when the incident happened.

Jayagopal is being brought to Chennai for questioning after which he would be produced before a court.

The arrest comes after the Madras High Court pulled up the police for slackness in nabbing the accused. “How long will you take to arrest Jayagopal? Has the prime accused in Subasri’s death case also slipped to a safe haven abroad?” the court had asked.

Subasri, a software engineer, was the only daughter of her parents and her death due to a banner created a huge public outcry with the Madras High Court taking up the case suo motu.

“How many more litres of human blood you want to smear the roads with so that you bureaucrats can become sensitive,” Justice N Seshasayee had asked the government, expressing anguish over the flouting of the ban on banners imposed by the very court last year.

The techie’s death prompted the court to direct political parties to file an affidavit on restraining their cadre from erecting banners and hoarding as well as cut outs.

Though the city police arrested the tanker driver and the printer, the delay in arresting Jayagopal drew flak. The High Court also rapped the cops for filing a case which was lenient on the key accused.

The police have initiated departmental action against three errant police officers under whose jurisdiction the banners were put up. Similarly, the City Corporation has proceeded against the concerned Divisional Assistant Engineer and Assistant Executive Engineer.

The incident drew such widespread criticism against the banner culture in the state that the political parties, including both the ruling AIADMK and the DMK in the opposition, have issued a diktat to the cadre not to erect banners and cut outs. Film stars of the Tamil tinsel world in Kollywood too have joined them, forbidding their fans from engaging in this extravaganza.

First Published: Sep 27, 2019 21:24 IST

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