The judicial commission of retired Madras High Court judge Aruna Jagadeesan has summoned actor Rajinikanth to depose before it on Feb 25 on what basis he asserted that anti-social elements hijacked the agitation against Sterlite plant at Thoothukudi on May 22, 2018, leading to violence and police firing in which 13 persons died.
Rajinikanth, who visited the town to console the victims, provoked a massive controversy by asserting that anti-social elements set fire to vehicles, stoned police and even attacked Sterlite employees quarters when the public marched to the collectorate that day to present a memorandum for the closure of the plant.
Several television channels which covered the march, which marked the 100th of the public campaign against the polluting plant, showed a sharp shooter atop a police van aiming at the advancing marchers and firing which is against police manual.
It was the unprovoked lathicharge on the marchers to foil their march to the collectorate which led to violence. Besides the sharp shooter who picked ring leaders from the marchers and shot at them, other police personnel went berserk after the agitators attacked them. A group of policemen chasing fleeing agitators shot dead a mother returning with her child from school. Rajinikanth however asserted: Anti-social elements turned the protest violent much the same way they infiltrated the peaceful jallikattu agitation by students on the final day which also led to firing.”
Asked how he knew when he was not on the spot, he shot back:” Don’t ask me how. I know”.
Upon his return to Chennai, he came out with an even more belligerent statement saying” I won’t tolerate any attack on uniformed services”.
Such was the backlash against his comment that a movie of his released shortly after that incident bombed at the box office.
All political parties and civil rights activists who also deposed before the commission demanded that Rajini should be summoned to explain his assertion.
Accordingly the commission going into the circumstances surrounding the agitation and police firing summoned him to depose before it on Feb 25.