Chennai: In yet another incident of political signage causing harm to public, a 30-year-old woman from Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu was seriously injured after she came under the wheels of a truck while trying to manoeuvre a flagpole of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) on Monday morning.
The victim, identified as Rajeswari, fell off her scooter when the party’s flag post, erected on the side of Avinashi Road near Goldwins bus stop, started to fall towards her. She lost balance of her vehicle, which fell in front of an approaching truck. Her legs were crushed by the lorry and she received multiple fractures. An FIR has been registered against the lorry driver, police said.
AIADMK flagpoles on the road where the accident took place.
The incident came on the same day when the Madras High Court granted conditional bail to AIADMK leader Jayagopal, the main accused in the death of 23-year-old Subhashree, who was killed after a hoarding of the party fell on her in September. Jayagopal, who was initially absconding after a furore erupted over the young techie's death, was arrested recently.
When asked about Monday's tragedy and an HC ban on banners, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami initially responded that he had not heard about the road accident caused by the flagpole. When probed further about a slew of similar incidents, he said there was no restriction on putting up flagpoles. The CM was attending a function in Salem.
Rajeswari, a resident of Singanallur, worked in the accounts section of a hotel at Chinniyampalayam and was the sole bread-earner of her family.
CR Sivan, a relative of Rajeswari, told The Hindu that she applied the brakes but lost control of the scooter and fell on the road. The lorry, which was behind her, ran over her legs and hit another two-wheeler. The accident took place around 9am, when she was barely three km from her workplace, the report said.
The high court has expressed dismay over the issue and wanted to know how many deaths it would take for the government to realise the danger of the roadside perils to public in their efforts at grandstanding.
Subhashree’s mother, Geetha Annapurani, said, “Accidents are happening repeatedly due to political parties that continue to erect banners and flags for events. Two months ago, on the same date, I had received a call that my daughter met with an accident and my life is scarred since then. Despite the tragedy, no lessons have been learnt. It hurts to hear that another woman met with an accident just because of the party flagpoles. I cannot stop thinking about my daughter and how she could have lived her life had the illegal banners not been erected.”