- Grafitti was painted hours after Raghupathy Kandasamy's death
- Two activists were questioned by police over the grafitti
- The activists were released after questioning
Hours after Mr Kandasamy died, the words "Who Killed Ragu" were painted in large white lettering on the road as anger spilled over on social media over his death. It soon became an internet campaign after an activist started an online petition demanding action against the ruling AIADMK.
The two activists have been released after questioning, police said.
Mr Kanadsamy worked in the US and was back home to meet a prospective bride. The activists said that on Friday night, his bike crashed into the huge arch temporarily set up on the road by the state's ruling AIADMK for its MGR centenary celebrations. As he hit the structure and fell from his bike, they alleged, a truck ran him over.
The police claim that Mr Kandasamy did not hit the arch or any protruding structure. "He died after the rear wheel of the lorry ran over him. We have CCTV footage from the nearby area which clearly indicates this," a senior police officer said.
The police have arrested the truck driver, but no action has been taken against the AIADMK workers who put up the arch-like structure that encroached upon almost one full lane on either side of the six-lane highway. They had not taken permission to put up the signboard.
The police officer denied reports that the activists who painted the graffiti had been arrested. "We are seeing if their action would amount to instigation and spreading rumours," he said.
Manoj A, an activist who had complained about the signboards said, "this is scuttling freedom of expression and intimidation by the police to safeguard the ruling AIADMK."
Opposition party the PMK has demanded that a case be registered against Chief Minister E Palaniswami. A local legislator of main opposition party the DMK has moved court seeking the removal of all such illegal structures in Coimbatore and action against government officials for allowing them to be put up.
The structures have been erected for the state government and the AIADMK's celebration of the 100th birth anniversary of the party's founder and former chief minister MG Ramachandran or MGR on October 3.