Security was beefed up at Rajinikanth’s residence in Poes Garden in Chennai after members of pro-Tamil groups attempted to barge in during a protest against the actor’s comments on rationalist ideologue EV Ramasamy, popularly known as Periyar. Earlier in the day, workers of Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam, clad in black shirts, raised slogans against the actor and demanded an immediate public apology.
More than 50 police personnel have been deployed near Rajinikanth’s residence and vehicular movement have been restricted near ‘Raghavendra Avenue’. Moreover, people staying close to the actor’s residence are been allowed only after an inquiry.
Chennai: Police deployed near Rajinikanth's residence at Poes Garden as Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam holds protest against the actor over his remarks on E.V. Ramasamy 'Periyar'. https://t.co/mRaad1VOu0 pic.twitter.com/LdlUsL13Cv
— ANI (@ANI) January 22, 2020
The ire of Tamil groups intensified after the actor said on Tuesday he would not apologise for his comments over Periyar. “A controversy has emerged that I said something that did not happen. I did not say anything which did not happen; I did not say anything on my own Imagination, I only said whatever I heard and things that appeared in the magazines. People are demanding that I should apologise for my remarks, Sorry, I will not regret, I will not apologise,” Rajinikanth had said.
Following Rajinikanth’s comments, the Thanthai Periyar Dravidar Kazhagam organised a protest in Nungambakkam against the actor. Speaking to the reporters, Kovai Ramakrishnan, President of the pro-Tamil group said they would make sure Rajinikanth apologised for his comments.
The Dravidar Viduthalai Kazhagam’s district secretary Umapathi filed a petition against the Tamil superstar at Madras High Court. The petitioner requested the court to direct the Triplicane Inspector to file a complaint against Rajinikanth.
In another complaint filed before the Coimbatore Commissioner of Police, the Dravidar Kazhagam sought action against Rajinikanth under IPC Sections 153 (a) (promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, etc.) and 505 (Statements conducing to public mischief). The complaint said Rajinikanth’s intention was to spread misinformation about Periyar with the intent to malign his reputation.
Rajinikanth’s comments have received a mixed reaction from Tamil Nadu political leaders and the public. On social media platforms, netizens were constantly trending tags both supporting and opposing Rajinikanth’s remarks.
Tamil Nadu’s opposition leader and DMK president MK Stalin has said Rajinikanth should think well before speaking about Periyar. “My friend Rajinikanth is not a politician, he is an actor. I appeal to him to think and speak about Periyar who lived for 95 years, working for the Tamil race,” he said.
Deputy Chief Minister O Pannerselvam said people should speak about Periyar only after understanding his Ideology. “It is because of Periyar an ordinary man like me was able to achieve in life. People should know Periyar’s early struggles and understand his ideology before making a comment,” Pannerselvam said. Other political leaders like VCK’s Thol Thirumavalvan, MDMK leader Vaiko, NTK’s Seeman also criticised Rajinikanth for commenting on Periyar.
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