Three policemen were fined Rs 2 lakh each, for denying permission to self-proclaimed fans of actor Karthi to stick posters for a movie, and allegedly using casteist slurs, six years after the incident. The State Human Rights Commission (SHRC), which had taken note of the issue and dubbed it a human rights violation, while directing the state government to take action.
According to reports, Venkatesh, said to be the president of actor Karthi Fan Club in Thoothukudi at the time, was putting up posters in 2016 ahead of the release of Thozha. The complainant alleged that he and other members of the fan club were stopped by a head constable, who allegedly demanded a bribe. Venkatesh said that as he refused, he was verbally abused and assaulted, following which a false case was foisted on him and two of his brothers. The SHRC has directed the state government to pay Rs 5 lakh out of the total compensation to Venkatesh and Rs 50,000 to two of his brothers.
However, the fan club has disassociated itself with the incident. Speaking to TNM, Veeramani, Karthi Fan Club secretary, said, "I just came to know about this (compensation) after I read the newspaper only. The SHRC took action against the police officials who used casteist slurs and assaulted the persons who pasted the poster of Thozha movie. The commission treated the case as a violation of human rights and would have taken the same action regardless of the posters they pasted on the wall."
"I would like to dissociate the Karthi Fan club from this incident. We heard about the incident during the release of the movie. But each person involved in this matter, be it police officers or the victims, said different things about the incident. My suspicion is on whether the victims were part of the Karthi fan club or not, so we are not involved in that matter. There is no connection between the fan club and this incident," he added.