Twenty-three-year-old Subashree was riding by Pallikaranai, Chennai, when an illegal AIADMK banner came crashing down on her, throwing her on the road. The next thing we know, a water tanker came and ran her over.
The incident took place at 2:30 pm on Thursday, 12 September. Subashree was quickly taken to the Chromepet Government Hospital, but she died here within an hour.
As of now, the St Thomas Mount Traffic Investigation police have arrested the truck driver, Manoj, under section 279 (Rash driving or riding on a public way), 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others), and 304 A (Causing death by negligence) of the IPC. Investigation is currently underway.
The road where the incident took place had illegal banners on either side and on the median, installed by a former AIADMK councillor to announce his son’s wedding.
However, there is no mention of the former councillor in the report.
“We have filed a case against the person who put up the hoarding. We are not sure who it was outsourced to. If they had sought permission for it, the Revenue department will have the details. We will add names of the person who put it up and who gave order after investigation," Inspector Ravikumar of the St Thomas Mount station told The News Minute.
Not the First Time
There have been several incidents in the past where people have been seriously injured or killed due to banners.
In December 2017, Ragupathy Kandasamy, a US-based techie, had come down to Coimbatore to meet a prospective bride when his motorbike rammed into a wooden structure set up by the AIADMK and killed him.
In 2017, the Madras High Court had issued an order banning banners of living persons and political parties, but political parties in the state have continued to put up banners and hoardings in violation of the law.
Opposition leader MK Stalin offered his condolences to the deceased woman’s family, while also slamming the state government for negligence.
"Subashree has died due to the negligence of the government, inefficient police officers. The illegal banners have taken yet another life. My deepest condolences to her family,” he wrote in a tweet on Thursday.
Activist Traffic Ramaswamy has lodged a complaint at the Pallikaranai police station demanding that FIR be registered against the officials who allowed and erected the illegal banners on the road.
Chennai Corporation officials confirmed that permission was not sought before putting up the banners.
‘How many more lives will be sacrificed to the anarchy of power?,’ Stalin asked.