The probe investigating the death of 13 civilians in Tamil Naduâ€™s Thoothukudi district during the anti-Sterlite agitation in May 2018 has given actor-politician Rajinikanth an exemption from appearing before the committee. A summons was issued to the actor earlier this month by the Aruna Jagadeesan committee, nearly two years after he had claimed that the anti-social elements were responsible for the violence. The actor made the statement after he visited those who were injured in the violence on May 22, 2018.
Speaking to TNM, Rajinikanthâ€™s counsel Elambharathi Subbiah confirmed that he had been exempted from appearing for Wednesdayâ€™s hearing. Appearing before the committee on Tuesday, the actorâ€™s counsel had cited prior commitments on the date as well as public inconvenience on account of the starâ€™s appearance before the committee. A questionnaire was given on Tuesday to the actor's counsel in a sealed cover and the actorâ€™s replies will need to be submitted in a few days.
Fresh summons will be issued for follow-up by the single-judge committee after he answers the questions. The exemption is only for the February 26 appearance.
A week after police firing killed 13 civilians in Thoothukudi district, Rajinikanth slammed "anti-social elements and toxic germs" for "infiltrating" the protests. May 22 was the 100th day of protests. With Section 144 clamped in the area, protesters marched towards the district collectorate in defiance, seeking the closure of the plant which has previously been pulled up by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board for pollution.
The actor's media manager, in response to a query from PTI, had said on Friday that the actor was shooting in Hyderabad.
The actor, who announced his entry into politics in 2017, is busy with his 1686th film, tentatively titled 'Thalaivar168'. Noted industrialist Kalanithi Maranâ€™s Sun Pictures is producing the film, to be directed by Siva, who shot to fame after successful collaborations with actor Ajith Kumar.