National award winning director Manikandan’s house in Usilampatti, Madurai, was robbed by burglars on February 8. But in a surprising twist, the alleged robbers returned the gold medal and expressed their apology in a note on Tuesday, February 13, according to reports.
The thieves allegedly stole Rs 1 lakh cash and around 15 sovereigns of gold jewellery including the gold medal. However, later realising this, they returned the award medals along with a note which said, “Sir, please forgive us, your hardwork is for you”. The medal was left on the compound wall in a polythene bag which also had the apology note.
While the robbers have returned the medal, other valuables are still missing. The director had earlier registered a complaint regarding the incident with the Usilampatti police. The police probe is underway.
Manikandan won the National award for 2023, for his film Kadaisi Vivasayi starring Vijay Sethupathi and Yogi Babu. The film which dealt with agrarian crisis won the Best Feature Film award. Unlike the many Tamil films on the topic of farmers, Kadaisi Vivasayi tried to centre the lives of the actual people whose lives and livelihoods are tied to agricultural land, rather than on a saviour-hero from outside. The film received widespread critical acclaim.
Manikandan made his debut through the acclaimed film Kaaka Muttai, which also won the National Film Award for Best Children's Film. He also directed two other films – Kuttrame Thandanai and Aandavan Kattalai. He is currently directing a web series featuring Vijay Sethupathi, which will stream on Disney+Hotstar.