Death By Banner: AIADMK’s Jayagopal Held, Sent to Judicial Custody
A Chennai court on Saturday, 28 September, sent AIADMK leader C Jayagopal, the man behind illegal banners that killed the 23-year-old techie, to 11-day judicial custody. Jayagopal was arrested from a resort in Krishnagiri district by the Chennai police on Friday, 27 September, reported The News Minute.
The other accused in the case, Jayagopal’s brother-in-law Meganathan, is still on the run.
Subhasri (23) died as she was thrown under a water tanker after the illegal AIADMK banner threw her off her scooter. The incident happened on Thursday in Pallikaranai, Chennai.
Jayagopal, who had erected the flex banner for a family wedding, was earlier booked under the Section 4 of The Tamil Nadu Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1959 for installing the hoarding without permission.
The driver of the tanker has been arrested by the St Thomas Mount Traffic Investigation Police and investigation is underway.
‘How Many Litres of Blood You Want to Paint the Roads With?: Madras HC Slams Govt
The Madras High Court condemned the apathy of the government in a strongly worded statement, regarding the death of Subhasri.
“A life has been lost because of sheer irresponsibility of bureaucrats. It must be the state’s resolve to prevent illegal flex boards. CM should make a statement that party cadres should not erect flex boards. we have been passing orders against flex boards since Dec 2018. How many more litres of blood do you want to paint the roads with?”Justice N Seshasayee
Too Little Too Late?
This is the second incident of a death due the collapse of an illegal banner in Tamil Nadu. In 2017, Raghu, an IT professional was run over by a truck, as a makeshift commemorative arch fell over him. After intense media outrage, and the Madras High Court's strong stance on the issue, the AIADMK government issued an official statement.
The statement appeals to all party cadres to 'avoid putting up flex boards, banners and hoardings that may inconvenience the public, under any circumstances'.
Activists, Puducherry Govt React
Jayaraman, convenor of the NGO Arappor Iyakkam has spoken out against all of the officials; corporation, police and other govt departments, who turn a blind eye to illegal flex banners.
The Chief Minister of Puducherry V Narayanasami too, issued a statement, stating that strict action would be taken against anyone who erects illegal banners.
Traffic Ramaswamy Reacts
Many citizens took to social media to slam the ruling party, with the hashtag #WhoKilledSubhashree.
AIADMK Spokesperson Kovai Sathyan took to Twitter to pledge he shall not erect banners or encourage the practice.
Meanwhile, Dr Senthilkumar, DMK MP from Dharmapuri, also pledged to say #IAmAgainstHoardings.
In 2017, the Madras High Court had issued an order banning banners of living persons and political parties, but parties in the state have continued to put up banners and hoardings in violation of the law.
Citizens said officials should boycott functions where there are huge hoardings erected and should also instruct their functionaries to say no to banners. Many also pointed out that movie stars too should stand up against erecting massive cutouts and banners.