This Article is From Jan 23, 2017

Rajinikanth Warns Jallikattu Protesters Against 'Anti-Social Elements'

Rajinikanth Warns Jallikattu Protesters Against 'Anti-Social Elements'

Protesters shout slogans during a protest against the ban on Jallikattu at Marina Beach in Chennai.

Chennai: As protests in support of bull-taming festival Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu turned violent today for the first time in days, mega star Rajinikanth cautioned activists and urged them to end their campaign. The 66-year-old star said "anti-social elements" were trying to hijack the peaceful protests that "should be etched in golden letters' in Indian history.

"You should not allow them (anti-social elements) to bring disrepute to your movement and goodwill, besides the police who have been supportive of your protests," he said in a statement.

"I humbly request you to immediately end this protest," he added, urging that the assurance by the central and state governments of a permanent solution should be respected.

Similar appeals also came from another veteran star, Kamal Haasan, and RJ Balaji, a popular radio jockey.

Kamal Haasan criticised the crackdown on Jallikattu protesters, saying, "aggressive police action on students' passive resistance will not bear good results". Thousands of protesters refused to leave as a large number of policemen arrived at the Marina Beach this morning.

As the protesters were removed physically from the protest site, there was stone-throwing, which led to the police using tear gas and batons. Visuals showed protesters being beaten. Protesters alleged that some of them were injured and pregnant women were also manhandled.

RJ Balaji, a radio personality known for his public service and large fan following, tweeted a video in which he said in Tamil: "Please go home, urging all youngsters to leave Marina and not resort to stone pelting and violence."

Balaji said the police had been supportive and helpful. "Time we understand and behave accordingly. The ordinance and the promise for a permanent solution is itself a huge victory for us. So you need to withdraw," he urged.

Last week, Balaji came out in strong support of Jallikattu, a tradition that has been linked by many to Tamil pride.