Babu had used a flagpole to support himself down a narrow lane and was electrocuted as the pole was resting against a transformer.

Yet Another Ragu One more precious life lost to MGR Centenary Celebrations
news Murder Friday, December 29, 2017 - 12:27

As Babu made his way to the fields he worked in, he would not have thought that the evening of December 28 would be his last. Another precious life – a father, a husband and the economic support system of a family of three – has been killed by the careless enthusiasm of the government.

AIADMK party flags, banners and decorative arches commemorating the birth centenary of “people’s leader” MG Ramachandran are plastered across cities in Tamil Nadu. The celebrations are expected to culminate in a grand gathering to be addressed by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami on December 30.

However, this flagpole in Kodappamund in Ooty claimed agricultural worker Babu’s life when he allegedly held on to it for support. The path to the fields are narrow and Babu, who would normally walk down it with ease, made the fateful decision to hold on to the flagpole.

The flagpole was precariously placed against a transformer with live wires running through it. As a result, Babu was tragically electrocuted.

With zero regard for safety, these flagpoles and banners are still seen across the city with no decision made on their removal.

Babu’s relatives and neighbours took to the streets to protest the gross negligence. The men and women sat down on the road and demanded of the police present there, "Who is going to answer to the mother and the child? Who is going to answer for the death of daily wage workers?" The police and officials were seen to be lifting up the protesters even as they shouted, "First you give us answers."

When asked what actions had been taken after the tragic death, Ooty Town Deputy Superintendent of Police, A Manikandan, told TNM, “A post mortem has been done and the body has been handed over to the family. An FIR has been registered.”

When TNM reached out to the Chief Minister's office, Assistant Public Relations Officer Ramesh confirmed that the Chief Minister's program in Ooty will take place as scheduled.

Babu is survived by his wife Latha and daughter Sanjana, who is studying to be a lawyer in Mysore. Babu’s relatives and neighbours have taken to the streets in the harsh winter to protest the gross negligence. 

Only a month ago in November, a celebratory arch installed for MGR’s birth centenary, despite warnings from activists, had killed 31-year-old Ragupathi in Coimbatore. Ragupathi, a software engineer working in the US, had come to meet a prospective bride.

Also read: 'Who Killed Ragu?' Anger against AIADMK over biker’s death due to illegal arch

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