Hours after actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth slammed protesters for Tuesday’s violence against policemen stationed at the MA Chidambaram stadium in Chennai, director Bharathiraja hit out at the superstar questioning his motives.
Addressing a press conference as part of the Forum for the welfare of Tamil Art and Literature, Bharathiraja said, “When there was violence against the people of Tamil Nadu in Karnataka, there was no word from Rajinikanth. Only now we are getting to know his real intention are clear now.”
The director was taking a dig at Rajini’s ‘Kannada roots’, having been born and brought up in Bengaluru before moving to Chennai, where he became as star.
Taking to Twitter, Rajinikanth stated, “The worst form of violence in law and order situation is attack on uniformed personnel on duty. This form of violence has to be tackled immediately as it poses grave danger to our country. We need more stringent laws to punish the perpetrators of attack on police personnel on duty,” he said. The actor also put up a video of protestors attacking policemen along with his tweet.
Naam Tamilar Katchi chief Seeman also lashed out at Rajini, saying, “Rajinikanth was never on field, he is just sitting his room and tweeting.” Claiming that the superstar has no clue over the Cauvery dispute, he urged Rajini to keep quiet on the issue.
While MLA Tamimun Ansari said that Rajini’s tweets demeaned Tuesday’s protest, director Amir pointed to the actor’s earlier tweets, which included praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi over demonetisation. “Rajinikanth tweets are only to appease the people in power. Rajinikanth tweeted the next minute when demonetisation was announced. He never tweeted anything for a commoner.”
Political parties, farmers and even actors have been holding protests against the non-formation of the Cauvery Management Board and have also demanded that IPL matches should not be conducted in Chennai, as it would remove focus from the ongoing struggle against the Centre.
On Tuesday, several protesters from various political parties as well as some members of the film industry laid siege to Anna Salai ahead of the Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders match that took place.
Protesters from parties including Thamizhar Vazhu Urimai Katchi (TVK), Vidudhalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (VCK), Naam Thamizhar, SDPI came in droves and landed up near the Anna Statue in Anna Salai in the evening.
Visuals even showed CSK fans being assaulted by the protesters. Some of the fans were made to remove their yellow jerseys by the protesting crowd.
The police jumped into action, putting barricades to cut off their onward march towards the stadium. But protesters jumped over barricades and fell on the police and media personnel on the other side.
There were 4000 odd police personnel stationed at the stadium to ensure that the situation was peaceful. Inside the stadium, one of the protesters hurled a shoe into the pitch to continue the agitation.
The protesters were detained by the police and six cadres from the Naam Thamizhar party were arrested for hurling shoes into the stadium.