A 23-year-old woman from Chromepet, who was riding her scooter on the Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam Radial Road, died on Thursday evening after a banner erected by an AIADMK member fell on her scooter and threw the woman off the vehicle. A speeding tanker lorry ran over the woman from behind and crushed her to death instantly.
“While Subashree was riding on the Pallavaram-Thoraipakkam Radial Road, an AIADMK banner, which was tied to a temporary post on the roadside, fell on her bike, causing her to lose balance. She fell on the road and a tanker lorry ran over her,” a police official said.
While the police arrested Manoj (25) from Bihar, who was driving the tanker lorry, onlookers claimed that the accident took place because Subashree was knocked down by the banner and it was not entirely the fault of the driver.
Police sources confirmed that the banner on Radial Road was placed by C Jayagopal from Pallikaranai, a former AIADMK councillor and joint secretary of the Kancheepuram East Zone MGR Mandram. “Several banners were placed on both sides of the road by Jayagopal with pictures of AIADMK leaders to announce a family wedding,” a police source said.
Confusion prevailed for a while over registering a case as the St Thomas Mount traffic investigation police team, who arrived at the spot, claimed that since the accident was caused by the banner, the case should be registered by the Pallikaranai police. The Pallikaranai police, meanwhile, urged the St Thomas Mount Traffic Investigation police to register the case as it was a road mishap.
As a result, the body of the victim was unattended for nearly half an hour as the two police teams argued with each other. The public, who were shocked by the police behaviour, said that some men in khaki were more keen to remove the banner rather than shifting the victim’s body.
The St Thomas Mount Traffic police registered a case and sent the body for autopsy to Chromepet Government Hospital. Later in the evening, the Pallikaranai police registered a case against Jayagopal. Speaking to DT Next, St Thomas Mount DCP K Prabhakar said that action would be taken against Jayagopal after investigation.
Blaming the State government for the death of the woman, Opposition DMK leader MK Stalin said, “Govt’s negligence, official’s irresponsibility and police inefficiency has claimed the life of Subashree. How many more lives should be sacrificed for the atrocities of the power centres to end?”