TAMIL NADU

Rajnikant will abide by association decision

CHENNAI Oct. 5. The South Indian Film Artistes Association today reiterated its decision to go ahead with the October 12 protest rally on the ``Cauvery water issue''. The venue would be announced after discussions with the association president, Vijayakant, who is now out of country, and the film director, Bharatiraaja.

The matinee idol, Rajnikant, who on Friday called for reviewing the artists' decision to hold an agitation, attended an emergency meeting of the association here.

Briefing newspersons, the filmstar, Sarathkumar, who presided, said Mr.Rajnikant had expressed his views at the meeting but agreed to abide by the decision taken by the association.

Mr.Sarathkumar said the artists had conveyed the opinion that security aspects would have to be considered for the rally. In view of this, a final decision on the venue would be taken after consulting Mr.Vijayakant. A delegation, led by Mr. Bharatiraaja, would meet the Chief Minister, Jayalalithaa, to discuss security-related matters.

Justifying the need for an agitation by artists, he said film personalities were above caste, creed and politics. But when the artists in Karnataka jumped into the fray, the filmstars here too had a moral right to organise an agitation.

Protests

Meanwhile, Mr. Rajnikant's statement on the Cauvery issue evoked protests from

different parts of the State today. Demonstrations were organised and his effigies burnt.

In Chennai, his effigies were set ablaze by volunteers of the Dalit Panthers of India at Saidapet and near the Periyar statue on Anna Salai. While 16 volunteers were arrested in connection with the Anna Salai incident, no arrest was made at Saidapet. The volunteers also burnt an effigy of the Karnataka Chief Minister, S. M. Krishna. At Washermanpet, some people conducted a mock funeral procession of his effigy and then set it ablaze. They were arrested and released later.

At Anthiyur in Erode district, some AIADMK volunteers were reported to have garlanded a portrait of Mr. Rajnikant with chappals. The police rushed to the spot and removed the portrait. They registered a case.

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