A fishing festival (Meen Thiruvizha) is held across several places during the Tamil month of Aadi and on Tuesday, one such festival commenced at Periya Kanmai (lake) at Kundrakudi on the border area between Sivanganga and Pudukkottai districts in which Ilayaraja (30), a resident of Mankombu village, Pudukkottai, participated.
After throwing his net into the lake, Ilayaraja started catching fish. He later stepped into the lake, and got hold of one korava (mud murrel) fish weighing around 500 grams. In haste, he grabbed the fish and held it in his mouth to catch another. But when he was wading across the lake, the fish in his mouth slipped inside and got stuck in his throat.
A startled Ilayaraja tried to pull it out but failed. During the struggle, he lost consciousness and fell into the lake. Several onlookers rushed to his aid, grabbed him and saw the fish stuck in his mouth him. They too tried to remove it, but in vain. They rushed him to the GH but he died on the way by choking. Kundrakudi police have registered a case and are investigating.
Ilayaraja’s body was handed over to relatives and the funeral was held on Wednesday.