Cops killed son over a golden lizard picture in Kanchipuram, claims mother

Controversy over a 22- year-old youth’s death has cast a shadow over famous Athi Varadar festival, held once every 40-years, in Tamil Nadu’s Kanchipuram.

The mother of the youth, a resident of neighbouring Andhra Pradesh’s Godavari district, has accused the Tamil Nadu cops of beating him to death inside the Varadaraja Perumal temple complex at Kanchipuram on Wednesday evening. The cops have rejected the allegation, claiming that the youth died of heart attack instead.

Police sources identify the killed youth as N Sakthi Akash from Rajamahendravarmapuram - also known as Rajahmundry - in Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh.

A woman cop, who objected to Akash taking a photo of the famous golden lizard carved into the roof inside Sri Varadaraja Temple, was the first to beat him, alleged his mother Nageswari.

“When my son photographed one golden lizard fixed in the roof of temple premises, a woman cop beat him. When we objected, a team of cops surrounded us and brutally attacked my son. In this attack, he fell unconscious. When we took him to a nearby government hospital, doctors declared him dead,” Nageswari said in her complaint letter to Kanchipuram police.

Kanchipuram district collector S Ponniah rejected the allegations and backed the police version of Akash dying after fainting in the crowd gathered for the festival.

“We inquired into the matter deeply. No police personnel beat him. He died only because of heart attack,” Ponniah told the media.

Thousands of devotees from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are visiting the 45-day long Athi Varadar festival that started this Monday.

First Published: Jul 04, 2019 16:41 IST

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