TN minister dies in accident, Jaya orders probe

Tamil Nadu minister Mariam Pitchai was on Monday killed in a road accident near here and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa ordered a probe saying people and her partymen suspect there was "some mystery" about it.

Updated: May 23, 2011, 18:09 PM IST

Tiruchirappalli: Tamil Nadu minister
Mariam Pitchai was on Monday killed in a road accident near here
and Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa ordered a probe saying
people and her partymen suspect there was "some mystery" about
it.

Pitchai, in-charge of Environment, Pollution Control
and Minorities Welfare portfolios, died on the spot when his
car collided with a lorry at Tiruvelankurichi, about 40 km
from here, police said.

He was sworn-in on May 16 following the AIADMK-led
front`s landslide victory in the assembly polls.

The lorry had sped away, police said, adding only
after apprehending the driver complete details of the accident
can be known.

The 60-year-old minister was proceeding to Chennai
after garlanding the statue of community leader Perumpidugu
Mutharayar when the mishap occurred, which left five others
including his driver injured, police said.

Speaking to reporters here after paying homage to the
minister by placing a wreathe on his body, Jayalalithaa said
"the public and her partymen suspect that there is some
mystery about the accident. Police have registered a case and
it will be transferred to the CB-CID," she said.

She said if anybody was found guilty they would be
tried as per the law.

The minister`s car driver told the police that the
lorry with Kerala registration had "deliberately" swerved
towards the minister`s car and hit the spot where Pitchai was
sitting, and he suspected that it was not an accident.

Jayalalithaa who arrived by a special flight from
Chennai offered condolence to the minister`s wife Fathima
Beevi and other family members.

All the shops in the city remained closed and most of
the buses did not ply in the city.

PTI