New Delhi: In a significant development, the Chennai Traffic Police on Sunday named former AIADMK councillor C Jayagopal in connection with the death of 23-year-old techie Subhashree, who was crushed to death by a truck after an illegal hoarding fell on her, causing her to lose balance and fall off her two-wheeler, on Thursday.
The hoarding was erected for the wedding of Jayagopal’s son, which was attended by Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam. Jayagopal was on Saturday admitted to a private hospital after complaining of chest pain.
The deceased techie had plans to go to Canada for higher studies.
The incident triggered widespread outrage across the state with people holding candlelight vigils in her memory as well as in protest against the ruling AIADMK.
Slamming the state government, DMK chief MK Stalin had tweeted, “Subashree has died due to negligence of the government, inefficient police officers. The illegal banners have taken yet another life. My deepest condolences to her family.” He further asked, “How many more lives will be lost to the power-hungry and anarchist rule?”
He also directed party cadres not to put up banners anywhere without permission.
The Madras High Court, too, on Friday came down heavily on the state government, observing that ‘there was zero respect for lives in this country’ and that it had lost faith in the government. It also called the incident ‘a bureaucratic apathy.’
The High Court, which directed that action be taken against those responsible and asked the government to pay an interim compensation of Rs 5 lakh to her family, had banned hoardings and flex boards featuring living persons; however, the banner culture continued unabated across the state.
In 2018, it restrained all political parties in Tamil Nadu from erecting digital banners and hoardings on arterial roads, which posed a risk to road users and pedestrians, until further orders.