Leading city educationist Jeppiaar was arrested on Thursday in connection with the death of 10 migrant workers on the premises of Jeppiaar Institute of Technology, Kunnam near Sunguvarchatram, two days ago.
Mr. Jeppiaar, founder-chairman of Jeppiaar Educational Trust, and chancellor of Sathyabhama University, runs several institutions of higher education. According to the police, Mr. Jeppiaar and his son-in-law, N. Marie Wilson, floated the Jeppiaar Remibai Educational (JRE) Trust to start the JIT at Kunnam in 2011. The first batch of students commenced their studies last year, while some of the construction work on the institute campus was nearing completion.
In May, the JRE Trust took up construction of multi-purpose sports auditorium on the campus at a cost of Rs.2 crore and the work was being carried out with construction workers brought from Odisha and Assam. On August 6 afternoon, a portion of a 40-foot wall collapsed, resulting in the death of 10 workers.
A case under sections 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life) and 304 (ii) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of IPC was booked and Mr. Wilson, director of JIT, civil contractors Rajkumar and Arul Jaya Ambrose and manpower agent, Sudhanandan, were arrested.
An arrest warrant was served around 1.20 a.m. on Mr. Jeppiaar, who was convalescing in a diabetes hospital in Egmore, Chennai.
A magistrate was brought to the hospital and he was remanded to judicial custody for 15 days.
Later, Mr. Jeppiaar was shifted to the Vellore prison.