5 more arrested in Coimbatore college mock drill death

Two days after a 19-year-old girl died in a freak accident during a mock drill in a private college in Coimbatore, five more people have been taken into custody apart from Arumugam, the person who pretended to be a National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) trainer.

Hours after the NDMA came out with a tweet distancing itself from the training that was conducted at Kovai Kalaimagal College of Arts and Science, NDMA in an official statement said, “It is unfortunate that this incident has happened and we have lost a young life. The NDMA expresses its heartfelt condolences to the family. However, the NDMA wasn’t involved in this drill. The trainer wasn’t authorised by NDMA to conduct such a drill. NDMA does not approve of such drills to be undertaken without adequate preparation and safety measures.”

The police then started an investigation to determine the veracity of Arumugam, the imposter who claimed he was an NDMA certified trainer only to find that there were many more imposters working with Arumugam.

After police got information from Arumugam, Ashok and Damodar were nabbed. According to sources, Ashok is close friend of Arumugam’s, who was the mastermind that made the fake certificates. Three other people – Satish, Govindaraj and Vinita – were also using fake certificates to conduct training drills.

Police sources revealed Arumugam has conducted over 1,200 camps and has taken a fee of Rs 50 per student for the trainings that were conducted.

Arumugam who was produced before the judicial magistrate today in Coimbatore was remanded to judicial custody till July 27 and was taken to Coimbatore central prison under tight security.

Meanwhile, Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management RB Udhayakumar said, “We have a system but the college did not follow the rules. They have engaged a private trainer. He has been arrested. To ensure these kinds of incidents do not take place in the future, we have instructed district collectors and the commissioner of revenue administration to oversee training programmes in private colleges with due precautions. The girl’s death is due to negligence of the people concerned.”

Bharathiar University in-charge Saravanaselvan has also issued a notice to Kovai Kalaimagal College of Arts and Science seeking an explanation as to how they gave permission to conduct a mock drill at the college without consulting the university.

In the video that has now gone viral, the 19 year old girl was made to jump from a ledge on the second floor of a building while students were holding on to nets to catch the jumping student. The video has sent shockwaves, questioning the safety of students in colleges and the precautionary measures taken by the college management at identifying imposters.

Shockingly, Arumugam was invited to the college to train the students after he had written a mail to the organisation requesting permission to conduct the drill and this was approved by college officials too.

Various questions such as were faculty members present during the drill and why they didn’t stop such a risky drill have also been asked now. Bharathiar University officials have said all action will be taken based on the reply that the college gives to the notice that has been issued to them.

Watch: 19-year-old Coimbatore girl dies during disaster management mock training

Updated: July 14, 2018 — 9:32 pm