Rajinikanth Takes Another U-Turn; This Time On His Controversial Remarks on Sterlite Protests

In a development that dilutes his stance on Sterlite Copper violence, actor Rajinikanth has submitted to a probe commission that he has no evidence to back his earlier statement about anti-social involvement in the May 2018 violence in Tamil Nadu.

Arul Vadivel Sekar, the official lawyer with the Justice Aruna Jegadeesan Commission to probe the police violence in Thoothukudi, told reporters that the actor had submitted an affidavit that clarified what he said at the unplanned press conference cannot be backed by any evidence.

Rajinikanth had stated at a press conference in Thoothukudi that people with anti-social sentiment infiltrated the ranks of protesters, forcing the police force to retaliate. The statement at that time, marked by a strong anti-police, anti-government sentiment, earned the actor some unpopularity.

The anti-Sterlite Copper protests led to the death of 13 people and injured many. The violence, on the 100th day of protests against the expansion of the factory of Vedanta Resources, followed after a stream of politicians visited Thoothukudi and expressed solidarity with the protesters.

Rajinikanth took a stance that pitted him against the popular stance of Tamil Nadu’s politicians, who stopped expressing horror at the police brutality and sought justice for those killed in the protests. Rajinikanth had posed questions about the people behind the protests, and their motives.

At a press conference in the Chennai airport after his visit to Thoothukudi, Rajinikanth had a standoffish interaction with reporters. To a question about the protests, Rajinikanth replied hotly: “If there are protests for every little thing, Tamil Nadu will turn into a graveyard.”

The actor, who had primed his fans for a political entry expected late last year, had backed off citing health reasons. With the affidavit clarifying that he doesn’t have any evidence to back his claim on the Sterlite controversy, the actor distanced himself from the last of the political entanglements he had got into over the last two years.

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