Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam President MK Stalin on Wednesday visited the family of a Chennai techie who was killed last week after a hoarding set up over a road divider fell on her, The Indian Express reported. Stalin also called for an end to the “banner culture” in the state and said his party had filed an affidavit in the Madras High Court on the matter.

Subhashree, 23, died after the illegal flex, allegedly put up by workers of the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, fell on her while she was on her way home on September 12 on her two-wheeler. She was run over by a truck after being thrown off the bike.

“I met Subhashree’s parents and conveyed my condolences today,” Stalin was quoted as saying. “Subhashree’s father told me that his daughter should be the last victim of this banner culture; I cannot forget those words wholeheartedly.” He announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for the woman’s family.

The DMK chief said in the affidavit filed in court his party agreed to follow a court order on setting up banners and cut-outs of politicians. Stalin claimed that in 2017 he had called for the hoardings to be erected only after obtaining prior police permission, and demanded stringent action against those who violate the rule.

Subhashree’s parents also blamed the culture of erecting hoardings for her death. “My daughter was following the rules,” said her father Ravi. “She was wearing a helmet and riding at a normal speed. Her death is not an accident, my daughter died because of the banner; the banner culture should be eradicated.” He also demanded action against those who set up the hoarding.

Stalin criticised the ruling AIADMK for violating the Madras High Court’s order on the matter. In December 2018, the court had directed that no political party, registered or unregistered, should erect flex boards that cause inconvenience to the public.

On January 11, the Supreme Court issued a notice to the state government and the Centre, directing them to restrict political parties from erecting digital banners. In March, the top court reiterated its order banning political boards in the state.

Last week, following Subhashree’s death, the High Court criticised the ruling party for failing to implement its order. The court said it was tired of passing orders against installation of flex boards in the state and said it had “lost faith in the government”.

The Chennai traffic police on Sunday named formerAIADMK councillor C Jayagopal in a first information report filed for the techie’s death. Stalin, however, claimed that Jayagopal could have been arrested by now if the police wanted to do it, and accused them of “playing a drama”, The News Minute reported. The former councillor, who was hospitalised after complaining of chest pain, is reportedly absconding. The truck driver, Manoj, is out on bail at present.

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