Rajinikanth is ready for politics, but is he ready to face this new tension?

Days ahead of launching his political party, superstar actor and political freshman Rajinikanth has caught with fresh tension that was triggered by the statement that he made on the police-firing against the people of Thoothukudi who protested for the closure of the Sterlite Copper plant in the district. The police firing had happened in May 2018 during which 13 people, including a student, were shot dead by the police. 

Following the incident, Rajinikanth had publicly divulged that the riots had happened in Thoothukudi after some anti-social elements were intruded in the protests and the actor asserted that he knew who was behind the riots and he would reveal it at the right place. As his assertions had stirred an outrage, the special investigation commission, that was installed to probe into the police firing, has now issued a summon to Rajinikanth to appear for investigation on January 19, 2021, at a high time when he has been working to unveil his political party for his spiritual politics. 

In May 2018, the Thoothukudi district in Tamil Nadu had witnessed riots and police firing after the law enforcement agency had opened fire against the protesters who were protesting and urging the government to shut down the Sterlite Copper plant in the district as the people residing around the plant had feared that it posses a huge threat to their lives by contaminating water and pushing them to suffer more diseases. 

In a collective voice of shutting down the plant, hundreds of thousands of people in the district had staged staunch protests nearly for a hundred days. The protests were unprecedented and the agitations had gained national attention with the voices for closing the plant had intensified across the nation. However, when the protests got widespread, the police department had opened fire on the protesters by alleging that anti-social elements have intruded in the protests and caused communal riots. 

The police shooting had killed 13 people including a student. The incident happened on May 22, 2018, which sparked massive outrage and resentments against the state government as there were agitations across the state condemning the act of violence and police brutality. Following severe protests, the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board had issued a notice on May 23, 2018, ordering the plant to shut down. 

The incident had also injured many and actor Rajinikanth had traveled to Thootukudi on May 30, 2018, and visited the injured people and while he was addressing the reporters about the protests and police firing, Rajinikanth claimed that the intrusion of anti-social elements was the reason for the riots which forced police to open fire. By citing that the protests will turn Tamil Nadu into a graveyard, Rajinikanth asserted that he knew who was behind the riots and he would reveal it at the right place. 

In wake of the protests, the government had set up a special commission headed by former Justice of Madras High Court Aruna Jagadeesan to probe the riots and police-firing. The special commission is based in Thoothukudi and has been probing the matter. As Rajinikanth had told that he knew who was behind the riots, the special commission had earlier issued a summon to the actor directing him to appear before the commission on February 25, 2020, to disclose his statement. 

However, on February 4, Rajinikanth said that he would extend full cooperation to the commission and by citing that the public could face inconvenience if he visits Thoothukudi, the superstar had sought exemption from appearing before the commission. However, in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the probe of the commission has come to a halt. Nearly eight months after the shutdown, the counsel of the commission has now said that the actor would be called for an inquiry during January 2021. 

As reported, the commission has now sent a summon to Rajinikanth directing him to appear before the commission on January 19, 2021, during which the actor and political newbie would be questioned by the commission as per his claim of who was behind the riots. As the actor has asserted that he will be launching his political party by January 2021 and contesting in the upcoming elections, the summon from the commission has been speculated to levy more challenges when he launches the party as his confession to the commission could cause a storm across the state.