Tamil Nadu

Day after mishap, CM insists there are no curbs on flagposts along roads

Flagposts along Avinashi Road. One of them tilted and caused Monday’s accident.

Flagposts along Avinashi Road. One of them tilted and caused Monday’s accident.  

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Lorry driver booked for running over woman’s legs

A day after a young woman’s legs were crushed by a speeding lorry after she fell off her scooter while trying to avoid hitting a leaning AIADMK flagpost in Coimbatore, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami claimed he was unaware of the incident.

He went on to state that there were no restrictions on erecting flagposts along roads.

“To my knowledge, we have not received any information that flagposts should not be erected on roads,” he told reporters in Salem when asked about the accident that comes close on the heels of techie Subasri’s death after an AIADMK hoarding fell on her.

Meanwhile, on the lines of the action taken after Subasri’s death, the Coimbatore Traffic Investigation Wing (East) booked lorry driver P. Murugan for running over Rajeshwari’s legs.

He was booked under Sections 279 (rash driving or riding on a public way), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others), 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC.

Police deny claim

Police also denied that the flagposts were erected to greet the Chief Minister, who travelled by road from Coimbatore to Salem on Monday. They said they were installed by an AIADMK functionary for a wedding reception. Coimbatore City Police Commissioner Sumit Sharan said that the functionary had obtained a no-objection certificate from the police for erecting the flagposts, as well as a permit from the Coimbatore Corporation.

A senior police officer added that visuals from surveillance cameras in the area were not available of the accident.

A poster of the marriage reception pasted near the auditorium mentioned the date of the event as November 10. Asked about this, the police said the private function was extended to Monday morning. While the accident took place around 7.45 a.m. on Monday, Mr. Palaniswami arrived at Coimbatore airport around 4.20 p.m. and left for Salem by road.

The DMK questioned the validity of the permit as the flagpoles remained on the sides of the road when the Chief Minister’s convoy passed the stretch of Avinashi Road. “DMK is not prejudiced about the accident. I went to the place and interacted with people. I was told that a tilted flagpost had caused the accident. The police should book the person on whose direction the flagposts had been erected,” said N. Karthik, DMK MLA from Singanallur constituency, from where the victim, Rajeshwari, hails.

Mr. Karthik alleged that a colleague of Ms. Rajeshwari, who had witnessed the accident and rushed her to hospital, was taken to the Peelamedu police station where he was kept till evening. “The man was threatened by the police to not disclose that he witnessed the accident,” he said after meeting the victim’s parents.

K. Kathirmathiyon, member of the Coimbatore District Road Safety Committee, said that Tamil Nadu government norms do not permit obstructions like advertisement boards, hoardings or flagpoles within 10 feet of the road margin on State Highways and local roads.

Regarding the death of a motorist during a police check in Chinnasalem, Mr. Palaniswami said that necessary action was being taken. “Police is acting according to court orders and the court has issued strict orders that motorists must wear helmets while riding two-wheelers. Public should cooperate with police in this regard. If they aren’t wearing helmets, they should stop when asked to during checks and provide required answers to officers. There are mistakes on both sides and such incidents can be avoided only if both sides are on the right path,” he said.

(With inputs from Vignesh Vijaykumar in Salem)

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 10:31:16 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/day-after-mishap-cm-insists-there-are-no-curbs-on-flagposts-along-roads/article29956825.ece

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