A woman riding a scooter was hit by a truck as she tried to avoid an AIADMK flagpole on a road in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore on Monday. The victim, 30-year-old Rajeshwari aka Anuradha, is undergoing treatment at a local hospital. The police have registered a case against the truck driver.
Rajeshwari, who is working in a private hotel in Chinniyampalayam, was riding a two-wheeler when the accident happened. A series of flagpoles were erected on both sides of the Avinashi road on the occasion of an AIADMK cadre's family function which took place on Sunday. To avoid colliding with the flagpole, Anuradha tried to maneuver her two-wheeler and lost balance. She fell on the road and a truck that came behind rammed her two-wheeler and ran over her legs. The onlookers had then immediately rushed her to a private hospital and informed her family. The truck had also hit a man who was riding a two-wheeler, he suffered minor injuries on his hands and knees.
Speaking to reporters after the incident, Sivan, Anuradha's uncle blamed the temporary flagpoles for the unfortunate incident. "We are deeply disturbed, she is the only daughter of her parents. One of her legs is severely affected, and the other one is fractured. The doctors performed surgery for eight hours, she is kept in the Intensive Care Unit and we are hoping for her speedy recovery. We lost a life (referring to Subhasri's accident) earlier and now this happened. The Madras High Court had put a ban on erecting flagpoles, but still, this kind of incidents keeps happening again and again. The unauthorized flagpole is the reason behind our daughter's accident," he said.
The City Traffic Investigation Wing arrested the driver and has seized the truck. An FIR has been registered against the driver for rash driving but there has not been mention of the flagpoles.
DMK leader MK Stalin took to Twitter to condemn the AIADMK government. "Another woman had fallen victim to AIADMK's obsession with publicity, when will this end?" he tweeted.
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The incident comes two months after 23-year-old techie Subhasri was killed near Kamakshi hospital in Chennai's Pallikaranai after a hoarding erected on the divider fell on her. The accident triggered social media outrage as people slammed the government and the police department for allowing AIADMK cadres to erect illegal hoardings.
Earlier, The Madras High Court had come down heavily on the Tamil Nadu government for failing to implement its order banning hoardings of political parties in the state. Referring to Subhasri's death, the court said the incident was a result of “bureaucratic apathy”.
“There is zero respect for lives in this country to do sheer bureaucratic apathy. Just imagine how much the girl would have contributed to the GDP of this nation. Couldn’t that politician have conducted the marriage without banners? Or would the ministers get lost in the city in the absence of such banners directing them to the venue?” the HC bench had observed.
In 2017, the HC had passed an order banning hoardings of living persons and political parties along roads and pavements as it obstructs traffic and is an inconvenience to pedestrians.