IPL 2018: Rajinikanth condemns violence during protests before CSK match

Posted By: PTI
Faf du Plessis of Chennai Super Kings looks at the crowd after a shoe was hurled at him during the IPL 2018 game against Kolkata Knight Riders at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai

Chennai, April 11: Tamil superstar Rajinikanth condemned the alleged attack on three policemen during the anti-IPL protests over the Cauvery issue, drawing sharp reaction from a group of pro-Tamil film-makers. But, Rajinikanth found support from an otherwise critical ruling party, the AIADMK, with its senior leader D Jayakumar welcoming the actor's remarks and terming it "acceptable."

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In a tweet, the 67-year-old actor, who has announced his intentions to launch a political party, said, "The worst form of violence is the assault on uniformed personnel.

"This kind of violence has to be tackled immediately, as it poses a danger to our country. We need more stringent laws to punish the perpetrators," he said.

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However, he uploaded a 23-second video on his Twitter handle that showed the alleged attack on the law enforcers.

The three were allegedly shoved and attacked by protesters near the Chepauk stadium where an Indian Premier League cricket match was held on Tuesday amid protests. CSK won that match against Kolkata Knight Riders.

Protesters outside the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chepauk, Chennai

The reason for the attack and the identity of the assailants were not known, though they were believed to be cadre of a pro-Tamil outfit.

Police resorted to lathi-charge to quell the agitation, which was marked by hurling of slippers into the stadium and burning of yellow jerseys, the colour of the Chennai Super Kings.

The opposition by pro-Tamil outfits to the IPL matches was that the game would divert the attention of the youth from the Cauvery issue and lessen the impact of the state-wide stir.

Director Bharathirajaa, who had launched a forum with some other directors and actors to take up Tamil cause, wanted to know whether Rajinikanth had voiced concern when Tamil truck drivers were attacked in Karnataka over the Cauvery issue sometime back.

"On the Cauvery issue, truck drivers were attacked in Karnataka... did you voice concern then, isn't that violence," he said at a press conference here.

Another member of the forum, director Ameer, alleged that Rajinikanth's views "support those in power."

However, Fisheries Minister Jayakumar said, "Rajinikanth's opinions are acceptable and welcome."

Asserting that violence cannot be accepted and there were laws to handle such incidents, he said, "Rajinikanth's opinions are acceptable and welcome."

Welcoming the actor's stand on the matter, the BJP's state unit chief Tamilisai Soundararajan said in a tweet that Rajinikanth was "indeed right" in opposing those indulging in violence.

Actor-director Seeman, who is also the chief of Naam Tamizhar party, asked if Rajinikanth has ever criticised "incidents of violence by the men in khaki."

"How long has he been on Twitter? Whenever it (his Twitter page) speaks, it does in support of those in authority. Has it done so for common people," he asked.

Since April 1, the state has been witnessing protests by political parties, pro-Tamil outfits, student groups and voluntary organisations seeking setting up of the Cauvery Management Board.

On February 16, the Supreme Court had raised the 270 tmcft share of Cauvery water for Karnataka by 14.75 tmcft and reduced Tamil Nadu's share while compensating it by allowing extraction of 10 tmcft groundwater from the river basin.

The court had granted six weeks time to the Centre to formulate a scheme to ensure compliance of its 465-page judgement on the decades-old Cauvery dispute, which modified the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal award of 2007.

The six-week period ended on March 29.

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Story first published: Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 19:25 [IST]
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