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Drunk lorry driver deviates into Secretariat complex

Staff Reporter

Rams into Assembly portico; five policemen suspended

— Photo: K.Pichumani

The Secretariat complex into which the lorry was driven unchallenged on Saturday night by a drunk driver.

CHENNAI: A lorry driver who had consumed alcohol steered the vehicle, unchallenged, through the heavily fortified gates of the State Secretariat Complex here on Saturday night.

The driver went past the police security at the exit gate and rammed the vehicle into the Assembly portico, damaging a pillar. Five police personnel, including an Inspector and a Sub Inspector, who were on duty at the Secretariat, have been suspended in connection with the incident.

Elephant Gate police, who are investigating the incident, said the lorry of a private firm was found parked in a restricted area, near the Reserve Bank of India building, a little ahead of the complex.

“On getting information, Head Constable Jayakanthan, who was on patrol, reached there and asked the driver to remove the vehicle. The driver, who was to take the vehicle to Kelambakkam to load watermelons, started the vehicle. Under the influence of alcohol, instead of driving straight, he turned right in to the Secretariat complex through its outgate,” said an investigating officer.

Police personnel on duty apprehended him after the vehicle came to a halt, after hitting the portico of the State Assembly building. No one was injured in the incident.

The driver, identified as Ayyappan (31), a native of Boothapandi Taluk in Kanyakumari district, joined the transport firm some months ago, the officer said, adding there was no cargo in the lorry at the time of the incident.

Elephant Gate police registered cases against Ayyappan under Section 279 (Rash driving or riding on a public way) of Indian Penal Code and Section 185 (drunk driving) of Motor Vehicles Act. He was produced at the George Town Court on Sunday, remanded to custody and sent to Puzhal prison. On Sunday, Commissioner of Police T. Rajendran suspended the five police personnel.

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