Tamil Nadu

Anti-Sterlite protest comments: Rajinikanth seeks exemption from having to appear before panel

Actor Rajinikanth

Actor Rajinikanth   | Photo Credit: AFP

Actor Rajinikanth, who has been summoned by the Justice Aruna Jagadeesan Commission to depose before it on February 25 in connection with the claims he had made about the violence that broke out during the anti-Sterlite protest in 2018, has sought exemption from personal appearance.

“Since law and order problem may break out, as thousands of my fans will gather in Thoothukudi to have a glimpse of me, I may be exempted from appearing in person before the Commission,” Mr. Rajinikanth said in a letter to the Commission.

The actor is learnt to have conveyed that he was prepared to submit his affidavit if the Commission sent him a questionnaire.

On February 4, the Commission probing the police firing in the anti-Sterlite protests summoned Mr. Rajinikanth to appear on February 25 for deposition as the actor had told reporters that anti-socials triggered violence during the agitation that ultimately culminated in police firing, in which 13 were killed.

When he addressed the reporters at a private resort on Thoothukudi outskirts after visiting some of the injured in the violence at Thoothukudi Medical College Hospital eight days after the violence — on May 30, 2018 — Mr. Rajinikanth claimed that anti-social elements who managed to “intrude” into agitation, had unleashed violence that led to police firing.

Though his observations triggered a lot of criticism from various quarters, especially from political parties and the anti-Sterlite protesters, the actor stood firm on his stance.

After appearing before the Commission on October 16 2019, Naam Thamizhar Katchi coordinator Seeman said the actor should be summoned to appear before the panel. The Commission, which has summoned 704 witnesses, has so far inquired 445 persons, including journalists in 18 phases and marked 630 evidences.

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Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 2:10:45 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/rajini-seeks-exemption-from-having-to-appear-before-panel/article30892038.ece

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