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."
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.
The worst form of violence in law and order situation is attack on uniformed personnel on duty.This form of violence has to be tackled immediately as it poses grave danger to our country.We need more stringent laws to punish the perpetrators of attack on police personnel on duty.— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) April 11, 2018
"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.
However, he uploaded a 23-second video on his Twitter handle that showed the alleged attack on the law enforcers.
வன்முறையின் உச்சகட்டமே சீருடையில் பணிபுரியும் காவலர்கள் தாக்கப்படுவது தான்.இத்தகைய வன்முறை கலாச்சாரத்தை உடனே கிள்ளி எறியவில்லை என்றால் நாட்டுக்கே பேராபத்து.சீருடையில் இருக்கும் காவலர்கள் மீது கை வைப்பவர்களை தண்டிக்க இன்னும் கடுமையான சட்டங்களை நாம் இயற்றவேண்டும். pic.twitter.com/05buIcQ1VS— Rajinikanth (@rajinikanth) April 11, 2018
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.
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.
Finally @rajinikanth comes out of shell for the first time, he openly tweeted something against #Seeman and his #NaamTamilarKatchi. His veiled Tweet - "Yes, I agree. This barbaric act must be stopped and strict action should be taken against whoever induce violence." https://t.co/Li9mfu2SX1— Sreedhar Pillai (@sri50) April 11, 2018
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.