In the month of launching his political party, actor Rajinikanth is likely to be summoned by a single-judge commission probing the Thoothukudi Sterlite firing that resulted in the death of 13 people in May 2018. The actor is expected to face summons for his statement during the agitation. The actor had said that the infiltration of anti-social elements turned the mob violent during the anti-Sterlite protest resulting in police firing at Thoothukudi.
Arul Vadivel, the counsel for the commission headed by Justice (retired) Aruna Jagadeesan, said that the actor will be mostly summoned in January during the 24th sitting of the commission since he failed to appear before the commission during the previous summons issued in February. Arul Vadivel also told reporters that the actor will be summoned next month (January 2021) as Rajinikanth has started to go for movie shootings.
The actor was last summoned on February 25, 2020 for appearing before the commission. However, the actor requested the commission to exempt him from appearing stating that his appearance will result in inconvenience to the public.
The counsel for the actor, Ilambarathi appeared before the commission and said that the actor would reply to the questions of the commission headed by the single-judge. However, the investigations of the committee came to a halt due to the pandemic-induced lockdown.
Currently, as coronavirus cases in Tamil Nadu show a decline, the commission is mulling to send summons again to the actor.
The Sterlite firing incident happened in May 2018 when the the Tamil Nadu police opened fire on people protesting against the Sterlite copper smelting plant at Thoothukudi in May 2018. Over 13 people died in the firing and the police said that they resorted to firing since the collectorate came under threat from the agitators.
During the violence, actor Rajinikanth said that the police fired on the protesters since anti-social elements had infiltrated into the Thoothukudi anti-Sterlite protest turning the mob violent. He also said that he was aware of the people behind the act but would reveal the information only at the right place.