‘Reward’ for kicking Vijay Sethupathi: Coimbatore cops book Hindu Makkal Katchi leader
The Coimbatore police on Thursday, November 17 registered a case against Hindu Makkal Katchi leader Arjun Sampath, who had announced a 'reward' of Rs 1,001 for kicking actor Vijay Sethupathi. The official Twitter account of the outfit had said, "Arjun Sampath announces cash award, for kicking actor Vijay Sethupathi for insulting Thevar Ayya. 1 kick = Rs.1001/- for any one who kicks him, until he apologises (sic)." The Hindu outfit claimed that the actor insulted U Muthuramalingam Thevar, a freedom fighter and politician. In a press release, the police said that a case has been registered against Arjun Sampath under sections 504 (Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace) and 506 (1) (Criminal Intimidation) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Further investigation is underway.
The tweet by the Hindu Makkal Katchi also came days after a man, identified as Maha Gandhi, attempted to attack the actor and his team on November 3 at the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru. A video that went viral at the time showed the actor being escorted out of the airport premises by his team and security personnel when a man ran towards Vijay Sethupathi from behind, and tried to kick him.
In interviews after the event, Maha Gandhi claimed that he was a co-passenger on the flight and wanted to wish Vijay Sethupathi for receiving the national award, but the actor responded with a sarcastic remark. He further alleged that as Vijay Sethupathi hailed from south Tamil Nadu, he asked him about whether he attended the Thevar Guru Puja held in Muthuramalingam's honour. "Vijay Sethupathi replied that the person I'm talking about is a Jewish carpenter (Jesus) and not who I am saying," Maha Gandhi alleged.
It is based on Maha Gandhi's claim that the Hindu Makkal Katchi announced the 'reward'. However, responding to the incident, Vijay Sethupathi earlier told TNM that it was "a very minor issue (that) was blown out of proportion because an onlooker shot the incident on his phone." He also alleged that Maha Gandhi was drunk at the time.