CHENNAI: Call it the dizzying height of patriotism. A 23-year-old man climbed a 75-foot-tall cellphone tower at Kanathur on Friday, attracting attention from not only passersby but also police and fire service personnel. The Kanathur police station received a call at 8.45am that a man was going up a tower on ECR, and that he appeared to be in danger. The caller said he suspected that the man was going to commit suicide by jumping from the top. A police team reached the spot in five minutes, but could only stand and shout at the man to get down. An eyewitness said the man kept going and, on reaching the top, dug into his pocket and produced what turned out to be the national flag. He tied the flag on top of the tower. The act of patriotism on Independence Day was over, but the danger wasn't.
Police said the man, who was later identified as Kumaran, an engineer, did not bother to listen to the cries of people gathered at the base of the tower, and stayed on for a few minutes. In the meantime, police alerted the fire and rescue services personnel. Before the rescue team could come, the man was on the ground, with a little help from police. He admitted that he felt dizzy while looking down from the height. "I saw him parking his bike near the tower and climbing. I thought he was from a telecom service provider who had come to inspect the cell phone tower," said Murugesan, an eyewitness. But the way he was going up made Murugesan and others wary, and they called police.
When police questioned Kumaran about the bizarre act, he said he wanted the tricolour to flutter higher than any political party's flag. "He said he underestimated the height of the tower. While coming down, he said, he was damn scared," said a policeman. Police warned him not to let his love for the nation get too dangerous, and let him off.