Panel probing anti-Sterlite violence calls Rajinikanth

Panel probing Thoothukudi anti-Sterlite violence summons Rajinikanth

Rajinikanth, who is yet to launch his political party despite announcing his intention to take a plunge into politics two years ago, had blamed “anti-social elements and miscreants” for intruding the protests and turning it violent.

Tamil superstar Rajinikanth has been summoned to appear on February 25 before a judicial commission probing the police firing that killed 13 people during anti-Sterlite protests in Thoothukudi in May 2018.

The one-man commission of retired judge Aruna Jagadeesan has asked Rajinikanth to testify before it in the port city of Thoothukudi, 600 km from here, and share his side of the story since he claimed that “anti-social elements” were behind the violence that led to police firing. 

“Rajinikanth has been sent a summons to appear on February 25 in Thoothukudi. He had visited Thoothukudi after the incident and made some comments about the protests. The commission will ask him to provide inputs about his statement,” Vadivel Murugan, counsel for the commission, told DH.

He said Rajinikanth has been summoned as the Commission received several petitions seeking to get more details on the popular actor’s statements on protesters. “Many people have submitted a video of Rajinikanth’s interaction with the media. We will be asking him to explain his statements,” he said.  

13 people were killed in police firing on May 22, 2018, when the anti-Sterlite protests turned violent and the Commission was appointed to go into the incident. 

Rajinikanth, who is yet to launch his political party despite announcing his intention to take a plunge into politics two years ago, had blamed “anti-social elements and miscreants” for intruding the protests and turning it violent.

“The same happened with Jallikattu protests... police began attacking the protesters only after the anti-social elements in the crowd instigated violence. It is these elements who ransacked the Collectorate, set on fire residential flats of Sterlite employees and burnt vehicles. But only common men died and got injured,” Rajinikanth had said.

If Rajinikanth testifies before the Commission, it would be his first political test. The actor has been making controversial statements for the past few months.

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