Tamil Nadu politician and Naam Tamilar Katchi chief Senthamizhan Seeman has requested the commission probing the firing into the anti-Sterlite protests in 2018, to summon and question actor-politician Rajinikanth. Seeman was referring to Rajnikanth’s comments on the involvement of anti-social elements during the protest.
Seeman further claimed that the commission, headed by retired Justice Aruna Jagadeesan, acknowledged his demand and agreed to it.
"The commission has agreed to summon him and inquire. We have to find out how he knew those anti-social elements had entered the protest. A general statement is like shaming innocent people who fought the polluting industry. But if miscreants were responsible for the violence, the police should have fired at them and not at innocent protesters," said Seeman.
In May 2018, at a press conference in Thoothukudi, Rajinikanth had said that the protest was the doing of 'anti-social elements' and 'toxic germs', which he said, have increased in the Tamil Nadu society. He also said that people are being instigated to turn violent by these elements.
"Ordinary people definitely did not burn the collector's office and the housing quarters… Caution is needed while protesting. Anti-social elements have increased in Tamil Nadu. Even during jallikattu, this is what happened. This holy protest ended with bloody stains. The government should control these toxic germs and anti-social elements with iron hands," he had said.
He further emphasised on the need to save the industrial climate of the state, which he says will go through a lean patch if protests continue.
"Some people are protesting for good, some protests are being instigated. If Tamil Nadu becomes a land of protest, no businesses will come here. There won't be job opportunities. The poor will suffer a lot. Already farmers here don't have water," he said.
"Even when the government is giving permission to such industries, they should see all the norms and conditions and do it properly. If something happens, courts should be approached. If we keep harping on protest, it will become very difficult. Politicians should bear this in mind," he added
Incidentally, this is not the first time that prominent figures have demanded that the veteran actor be questioned.
In July, advocate Vanchinathan, an active protester in the Sterlite issue, too, had demanded that Rajinikanth, along with others who made allegations of 'anti-social elements' in the protest, must appear for the inquiry.
The anti-Sterlite protests took place on May 22 and saw thousands of residents and activists holding a demonstration in Thoothukudi against the polluting industry. In an effort to stop, what the police claimed as an attack on the Collectorate, 13 people in the crowd were shot dead.