A Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) functionary in Tamil Nadu has been booked for announcing cash reward for attacking popular Tamil star Suriya, whose latest film Jai Bhim has run into a controversy over the depiction of a character vis-a-vis the Vanniyar community, as support poured in for the actor from his fans, Twitterati, fellow cinema personalities and several others over the critically acclaimed film.
Suriya acknowledged the "overwhelming" support from various sections, even as the Mayiladuthurai police on Wednesday booked cases against the PMK functionary for issuing him a threat.
Cases under five sections of the IPC were registered by the Mayiladuthurai town police against the PMK district secretary A Palanisamy, including under non-bailable sections, for announcing Rs one lakh cash prize to anyone who attacks the actor, over the alleged poor depiction of Vanniyars in the movie.
The PMK, helmed by Dr S Ramadoss, claims to largely represent the interests of the Vanniyar community.
Announcing the "reward" to anyone who kicked Suriya, Mr Palanisamy had a couple of days ago said this was meant to express opposition to the portrayal of the Vanniyar community in alleged poor light in Jai Bhim. Also, he had threatened to prevent the screening of the film in Mayiladuthurai district.
Taking cognizance of media reports on the threat issued to the actor, the Mayiladuthurai town police registered the cases, police said.
'Jai Bhim' starring Suriya is directed by T J Gnanavel and produced by the actor himself and his wife Jyothika. It was released on an OTT platform.
The film faces strong criticism from the PMK, which also claimed that the movie had defamed the party.
Aiming to clear the air, Suriya had earlier asked the PMK not to politicise the film which was meant to raise questions against the authority and that it talks about the problems faced by the people in their daily lives.
On Wednesday, he took to Twitter to thank the support he has been receiving from various quarters.
"Dear all, this love for #Jaibhim is overwhelming. I've never witnessed this before! Can't express in words how thankful I am for the trust & reassurance you all have given us. Heartfelt thanks for standing by us," Suriya tweeted .
Meanwhile, police protection has been provided at the actor's residence here.
Earlier, the Vanniyar Sangam had sent a legal notice to makers of 'Jai Bhim' movie, alleging that the flick tarnished the reputation of the community and sought an unconditional apology from them.
Removal of references to Vanniyar community's revered symbol of raging fire pot, an apology for "damning, tarnishing and damaging the reputation" of the community, desisting from similar "malicious" moves and payment of Rs 5 crore in damages were the demands made in the legal notice sent to them on Monday.
'Jai Bhim' was released recently in languages including Tamil, Telugu and Hindi.
The film, though based on a true incident of custodial torture and death of a tribal man in 1995 in Tamil Nadu it had elements of fiction. The Vanniyar Sangam also objected to the naming of a particular character, a policeman, with negative shades.