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Deputy Mayor seeks convening of emergency Council meet

R.K. Radhakrishnan

Thiagarajan wants stampede at Corporation-run school discussed

CHENNAI: Deputy Mayor Karate Thiagarajan on Monday demanded the convening of an emergency session of the Chennai Corporation Council to discuss the stampede at a civic body-run school in K.K. Nagar.

The Deputy Mayor, who has been away from Chennai for over two months — ever since he fell out with the AIADMK leadership — said the Corporation was the nodal agency in the city for relief and rescue operations. Hence, it was necessary for elected representatives to discuss the circumstances in which two stampedes happened one after another in the city.

"I am vested with the powers under the Chennai Corporation Act to call for an emergency meeting giving two days notice. I am invoking those provisions and writing to the Commissioner on this," he told The Hindu over phone.

Maintaining that he was in New Delhi, Mr. Thiagarajan said that he would decide on coming back after he received word from the Commissioner on the date of the meeting.

He remained evasive on an actual date of return and said that he was aggrieved at the heavy loss of life at the school. He conveyed his condolences to the kin of the dead.

Action sought

Mr. Thiagarajan criticised the Corporation officials for having "failed in their duty to provide barricades and anticipate the crowd" and demanded that the Government initiate action against the Commissioner.

The Deputy Mayor claimed that a huge posse of police personnel were deployed in the city and elsewhere to arrest him while places such as the school, which functioned as a relief centre had a thin presence of police. "I could not even come for my mother's funeral apprehending arrest on one pretext or the other. There were so many policemen after me... This is an indication of the priorities of the Government," he said.

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