Days after People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) hit back at Suriya, the actor has sent a legal notice seeking unconditional apology from the animal rights group for trying to discredit his support for Jallikattu by calling it a publicity stunt as part of promoting his movie.
Suriya’s advocate R Vijay Anand has sent the legal notice to PETA India and cited contents of a news story to make his case. “My client (Suriya) is a well-known actor and law abiding and a socially conscious citizen,” reads the legal notice. “My client genuinely strives to contribute to the betterment of the society through his social and charitable work, which is a well-known fact.”
Terming the allegations made by PETA against Suriya as “mischievous and derogatory”, the letter further read, “There is no need for my client to indulge in such cheap publicity as alleged by you. Further, the film ‘S3’ is part of a very popular franchise (in Tamil, Telugu and its Hindi remake), which is among the most popular in the country and the two earlier movies have been blockbusters.”
Reacting to Suriya’s statement, PETA had accused the actor of supporting the pro-Jallikattu protesters for the publicity sake. “It’s no coincidence that Suriya decided to speak only when his film S3 is about to release. During illegal Jallikattu events recently held, both bulls and humans have lost their lives. To use a cruel spectacle that routinely causes injuries and death and which has been condemned as illegal by the highest court in our country for movie publicity is in extremely poor taste,” Nikunj Sharma, Government Affairs Liaison with PETA India, said in a statement.
The letter claimed that PETA’s allegations have lowered Suriya’s reputation among general public and media, besides causing severe mental agony to him. The actor had also called off his plans to promote his forthcoming film Singam 3 in Tamil Nadu, which is set to hit the screens on January 26, in the light of the entire matter.
“My client voiced his opinion on an issue which is identified with Tamil culture, pride and tradition for almost 3000 years and as a Tamilian, he is fully entitled to do so. Moreover, currently, there is a never before seen mass movement spearheaded by the youth in Tamil Nadu for the conduct of ‘jallikattu’ and my client had expressed his support for the young heroes who were fighting for the conduct of ‘jallikattu’,” it claimed.
The letter ends demanding PETA to issue a written apology to Suriya and release the same to media within seven days of receiving the legal notice. It has also noted that if the animal rights organisation fails to do so, Suriya will be forced to take legal action against it.