Actor-turned-politician Rajinikanth on Thursday finally broke his silence over Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and expressed concern over alleged violence in various parts of the country. He said violence and rioting cannot be a way to find a solution to any issue. Though the actor did specify any incident, he said "the ongoing violence gives me great pain. "
"Violence and rioting should not become a way to find solution for any issue. I request the people of India to stay united and vigilant keeping in mind the nation's security and welfare, " he said in a tweet.
"The ongoing violence gives me great pain," he added.
â€” Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) December 19, 2019
Rajinikanth had faced immense criticism for failing to make his views of the Act clear. On Monday, when he was asked about his stand on CAA in Mumbai, he refused to respond, claiming that he was at the event to solely talk about his upcoming film Darbar. Rajinikanth, who made it a point to express his worry about violence allegedly caused by protesters, failed to address police excesses on students in the capital.
The actor's statement comes on a day when there were bouts of violence in Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka during protests against the amended Citizenship Act, with two persons being killed in Mangaluru in police firing. In Lucknow, anti-CAA protesters allegedly hurled stones and in the Old City areas of the Uttar Pradesh capital and police used tear-gas shells to control the situation. A man died of a firearm injury while passing by a demonstration, but police denied the death was linked to police action. Vehicles were also allegedly set on fire.
However in most parts of the country, including Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai, where the actor actually resides, the protests were peaceful and non-violent. Thousands of residents gathered in these cities to stand against the controversial Act that was passed on December 11.
In Chennai, protesters gathered despite failing to get permission from the city police to hold a demonstration at Valluvar Kottam in Nungambakkam. In Bengaluru meanwhile, large crowds assembled despite the imposition of Section 144 in the city. Many protesters termed the imposition of Section 144 as clamping down on the fundamental right to free speech of residents.
â€śThere was already anger among people and especially youth about the discriminatory laws. And people wanted to protest. After not getting permission, the police gave permission and just two hours later, section 144 was imposed. This obviously angered people. And conveniently, section 144 is going to be lifted to accommodate a pro-CAA rally on December 22. This obviously shows what the government is trying to do and so people showed up to express their anger,â€ť said Maitreyi, a lawyer at Alternative Law Forum and one of the organisers of the protest.
(With inputs from PTI)