All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader C Ponnaiyan said on Saturday that the police should book the wind for the banner that fell on 23-year-old Chennai techie Subhashree last month, killing her, the Hindustan Times reported. The Chennai Police have arrested former AIADMK councillor Jayagopal in the case.

“Jayagopal, who had kept the banner ahead of his family marriage function, had not pulled it on Subhashree,” Ponnaiyan told a Tamil television channel. “So, it is inappropriate to file an FIR [first investigation report] against him.”

“It was the wind flow which tumbled the banner,” Ponnaiyan claimed. “If at all a case has to be filed, it has to be filed against the wind.”

Last month, R Subhashree, a software engineer, died after an illegal hoarding, allegedly put up by workers of the ruling AIADMK, fell on her while she was on her way home on her two-wheeler in Chennai. She was thrown off her vehicle and run over by a truck. The Madras High Court had criticised the state’s ruling party for failing to implement its earlier orders against the installation of flex boards in the state.

Ponnaiyan’s statement was criticised by Opposition leaders. “The AIADMK leader’s statement is mocking the death of Subhashree,” Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam Spokesperson Saravanan Annadurai said. “No AIADMK man had met and consoled Subhashree’s family yet. We believe it was the reason why late AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa did not allow her party men to talk to media.”

However, Ponnaiyan defended his statement, and also attacked DMK President MK Stalin for criticising the AIADMK. “I was trying to say that the hoarding was not erected to kill someone,” Ponnaiyan told the Hindustan Times. “The intention behind erecting the banner was to give simple publicity to the function. Then how come a case could be booked against Jayagopal despite that the fact that he had no intention to kill the woman?”

“People know that MK Stalin lies and exaggerates,” Ponnaiyan said, according to NDTV. “Let the case go to the Supreme Court. Let them decide. Judge would know countless banners up since [former DMK chief] Karunanidhi’s days.” Ponnaiyan added that banners are a “form of communication.”

Now, follow and debate the day’s most significant stories on Scroll Exchange.