For Chithra and Naganathan, the past two days have been nothing but torturous. Amidst tens of phone calls from concerned relatives and frequent visits from Rajeswari’s colleagues, the couple has only one thought on their mind – they want their daughter Rajeswari to regain consciousness and speak to them.
Rajeswari, also known as Anuradha among her family and friends, met with an accident on Monday morning on the busy Avinashi Road in Coimbatore. She came under the wheels of a lorry when she fell from her scooter on the way to her workplace, the Gokulam Park hotel.
Eyewitnesses to the accident have said that Rajeswari was trying to avoid an AIADMK flagpole erected on the side of the road from falling on her and that the manoeuvre made her lose balance and fall in front of a lorry. The police, however, have been on the defensive since the accident and dismissed all allegations. An FIR was registered on Monday against the lorry driver for rash driving and he was arrested.
Rajeswari’s relative Sivan was one of the first persons to mention the flagpole as the cause of the accident. When TNM spoke to him on Monday night, he said that people at the accident spot told him that Rajeswari was trying to avoid the flagpole when she was run over by the lorry.
However, Sumit Sharan, the Commissioner of Police, Coimbatore City said that the man who levelled the allegations was not present when the accident occurred. The CoP went on to state that Sivan was not even a family member of the victim.
“No family member has alleged this. One person who is not connected to the family has given this press byte. There are allegations of a flag pole, we will investigate it,” the Commissioner said. However, he maintained that Rajeswari herself was the only proper eyewitness and they were waiting for her to regain consciousness.
On Wednesday, TNM met Rajeswari’s parents who confirmed that Sivan was indeed a family member. “He is my younger sister’s husband,” Chithra said.
When TNM contacted Sivan on Wednesday, he reiterated his statement that eyewitnesses said the flagpole was the cause of the accident. According to Sivan, an eyewitness who had come forward was kept at the police station for many hours and there has been no word from him since. Even Rajeswari’s boss, who was passing the area at the time of the accident, has reportedly gone to his native place. Sivan alleged that these witnesses were under pressure.
Meanwhile, the flagpoles have mysteriously disappeared from Avinashi Road. A shopkeeper from the area told TNM that he had seen the flagpoles soon after the accident, but within a few hours they had all been cleared.
‘Flagpole’ missing in FIR
An FIR on the accident was registered by the police on Monday based on the information provided by B Vijayananth, who was also injured in the incident.
According to the FIR, the lorry was trying to overtake another vehicle and its front wheel hit Rajeswari, causing her to fall off her vehicle. Vijayananth, who was riding his motorbike behind Rajeswari, was hit by the posterior right side portion of the lorry. In the ensuing fall, Vijayananth suffered injuries to his arm and fingers. The FIR does not mention the presence of flagpoles along that stretch of the road. Based on this information, the police booked P Murugan, the lorry driver, under sections 297, 337 and 338 of the IPC.
Rajeswari risks losing her leg
As of Wednesday noon, Rajeswari condition remains critical. She is still in the Intensive Care Unit of a private hospital in Coimbatore.
“The doctors told us last night that her left leg is badly injured and that the site of injury is getting infected. They told us that if it doesn’t get better, then they would have to amputate the leg at the knee,” said Rajeswari’s aunt Bala.
Meanwhile, Chithra and Naganathan wait for their only daughter to open her eyes and speak to them. “She regained consciousness for a very short while yesterday… Just enough to recognise me alone… It pains us to see her like this,” said Chithra, breaking down.
Source: The News Minute