The collapse caused the death of 17 people on Sunday night and early Monday morning
A day after 17 people died in Mettupalayam following the collapse of a compound wall on their houses, the police on Tuesday arrested S. Sivasubramanian, around whose plot the wall had been constructed.
The State government, on its part, enhanced the compensation to the relatives of the victims from ₹4 lakh to ₹10 lakh, besides promising to construct new houses and provide them suitable employment.
Sivasubramaniam, 56, who runs a textile unit near Mettupalayam, was arrested for offences under Section 304 (ii) (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) of the Indian Penal Code and Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Property (Prevention of Damage and Loss) Act.
He was produced before the Madukkarai judicial magistrate and remanded in judicial custody till December 17.
The victims, belonging to three families, were killed in the early hours of Monday. Continuous showers in the area over several days are said to have weakened the wall.
Meanwhile, opinion was divided on whether the wall was raised by the plot owner to “discriminate” against members of the Scheduled Castes who were living in houses built behind his property. The issue also echoed in the Parliament with Vidhuthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi leader D. Ravikumar mentioning it in the Lok Sabha. Coimbatore Superintendent of Police Sujit Kumar said that prima facie there were no ground to prove that it was a ‘wall of discrimination’.