Anti-liquor protest atop tower turns fatal

Chennai, July 31 (IANS) An anti-liquor protest by a Gandhian who climbed atop a mobile phone tower near Kanyakumari, around 700 km from here, went terribly wrong and resulted in his death on Friday, police said.

The opposition parties in the state demanded an explanation from the Tamil Nadu government.

Siddha doctor Sasiperumal, 59, climbed atop a mobile phone tower, demanding the closure of a liquor shop at Marthandam, said a police official.

According to reports, there was a court order against the functioning of the shop located near schools and places of worship.

Sasiperumal shouted slogans to demand the shop’s closure, before climbing the tower.

He remained on top of the tower for nearly five hours and despite assurances by officials, he refused to come down.

However, he became unsteady later on, after whcih fire brigade personnel brought him down.

He suffered a bleeding injury which, police said, was not fatal. However, he was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead.

In a statement issued here, MDMK general secretary Vaiko said the AIADMK-led government was “responsible” for the death.

Sasiperumal had gone to Rameswaram on Thursday to pay his last respects to former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

According to PMK founder S. Ramadoss, Sasiperumal’s life could have been saved if only the district administration had closed down the liquor shop.

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