Police arrest Tamil Nadu businessmen whose compound wall collapse killed 17
The 80-feet-long granite compound wall of Sivasubramanian’s bungalow collapsed early Monday in Nadur Adi Dravidar (Dalit) Colony in Mettupalayam,Coimbatore.Updated: Dec 03, 2019 16:21 IST
The Coimbatore district police in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday arrested a 60-year-old businessman in connection with the wall collapse that killed 17 people, including 11 women and three children.
The 80-feet-long granite compound wall of Sivasubramanian’s bungalow collapsed early Monday in Nadur Adi Dravidar (Dalit) Colony in Mettupalayam,Coimbatore.
“Because of torrential rainfall, the granite compound wall, which was 23 feet in height, had tumbled on the houses lying below,” said K Rajamani, collector of Coimbatore district.
Mettupalayam police booked Sivasubramanian under section 304 (a) of the Indian Penal Code for causing deaths by negligence. Residents had alerted the businessman about cracks that had developed in the wall, but he ignored their requests to strengthen the structure, the police said.
“The accused was absconding for a day. However, we managed to arrest him on Tuesday afternoon,” said a police officer inquiring into the incident.
Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami visited the families of the dead, whose relatives staged a protest on Monday evening that was broken up by the police using batons.
Opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) president MK Stalin criticised the police action. He also slammed the local civic body for not removing the hazardous wall.
“It seems Nadur Adi Dravidar Colony locals have often asked Sivasubramanian and Mettupalayam municipality officials to remove the compound wall, which posed a grave threat. However, the government had not acted on their complaints,” Stalin said.
The Tamil Nadu government announced an ex-gratia payment of Rs 4 lakh each for the families of those who died in the wall collapse.