Two days after 23-year old techie Subhasri Ravi lost her life in an accident on the Thuraipakkam-Pallavaram road, the Chennai police are yet to question or arrest AIADMK former councillor S Jayagopal who had erected banners on the road. Subhasri met with a fatal accident when a banner mounted on the divider by Jayagopal, a former councillor and Kancheepuram East MGR Mandram Assistant Secretary, to announce his son's wedding, fell on her bike and threw her onto the road.
When TNM called on Jayagopal's phone, a family member informed that he was in hospital due to chest pain. A source told TNM that Jayagopal was in a private hospital.
Two cases have been filed against the man for putting up hoardings illegally without permission from the Chennai Corporation. One case has been filed against him in the Pallikaranai police station under Section 3 of The Tamil Nadu Open Places (Prevention of Disfigurement) Act, 1959 (for placing advertisements on the road illegally) and Section 326 of the Indian Penal Code (causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means).
Another case has been filed against Jayagopal by the St Thomas mount traffic police under various sections including IPC Section 304A (causing death by negligence).
Despite two cases being filed on him, the police seem to not be in a hurry to arrest him. One investigating officer told TNM that Jayagopal was not at home when the police went to question him. When asked if efforts were made to trace him, the policeman was evasive. Moreover, the policeman added that he was unsure which hospital Jayagopal was in.
The police, however, promptly arrested Manoj Yadav, the driver who hails from Bihar, under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including section 279 (rash driving), section 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others), and section 304A (causing death by negligence).
On Friday, Kolathur-based Shanmuga Graphics and Stickers, which had printed the illegal hoardings was sealed by the corporation.
Subhasri's death had lead to much outrage and anguish and following immense pressure from the public, many political parties have come forward asking cadres not to erect banners and hoardings.
CCTV visuals of the accident clearly showed the illegal banner fluttering in the wind and falling on Subhasri's bike, causing her to lose balance. The truck which was right behind her, then ran over her.
Despite the visual evidence of the banner crashing on her, the police seem to be in no hurry to question or arrest S Jayagopal. One police officer told TNM that since the sections under which Jayagopal has been booked are all bailable, even an arrest at this stage would not mean much. The officer added that the department would want to arrest him after adding a few more stringent sections to the case.