MADURAI: Two days after a 17-year-old national-level Judo player lost his foot when an electric pole fell on him, minister Thangam Thennarasu met him at Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai on Friday and presented him a cheque for Rs 3 lakh, on behalf of TNEB. He was accompanied by Madurai North MLA G Thalapathy and TNEB officials.
Sources said the accident occurred when a few TNEB staff were trying to replace the damaged pole with a crane on Wednesday. The athlete, R Parithivigneswaran, was ranked fifth in the recently concluded National Cadet Judo Championships (90 kg category) held at Bellary in Karnataka.
Narrating the ordeal, Parithivigneswaran said he was practising for the upcoming state-level competitions. “I was on my way to pickup a friend when the pole fell. The accident took place due to the carelessness of TNEB staff as they neither blocked the road nor installed any warning signs while replacing the electric pole. I might have lost my life if I was not alert as the pole would have fallen on my head,” he said.
Parithivigneswaran, whose dream was to become a police officer, appealed to the state government to provide him a government job. “My mother, who is the sole breadwinner of the family, is also a person with physical disability,” he added.
Based on a complaint from Parithivigneswaran’s mother, SS Colony police registered a case against the unidentified crane operator and EB staff under Sections 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (Causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of the IPC. “We have written to the TNEB seeking the names of the staff involved in the incident. Once we receive a reply, their names would be added to the FIR,” a police official said.
V Vijay Anand, Parithivigneswaran’s friend and fellow Judo player, told TNIE that the crane operator ran away immediately after the pole fell. “The staff blamed Parithivigneswaran instead of helping him,” he added. Parithivigneswaran is presently undertaking treatment at Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai. Though TNIE tried to contact TNEB officials, they were unavailable for comment.