"Worst Form Of Violence": Rajinikanth On Assault During Anti-IPL Protest

Over 700 protesters were detained in Chennai during Tuesday's protest against IPL matches

Chennai:  A day after widespread protests in Chennai, demanding the cancellation over Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket matches, superstar Rajinikanth has condemned the attack on some policemen by protesters.

"The worst form of violence in law and order situation is attack on uniformed personnel on duty," the actor said in a tweet.

Rajinikanth, who also posted a video a 23-second video showing three policemen being pushed around and attacked by a man near the Chepauk stadium, called for stringent laws to punish the perpetrators of attack on police personnel on duty.

"This form of violence has to be tackled immediately as it poses grave danger to our country," he said.

Three days ago, Rajinikanth, who has taken the political plunge, had said that holding IPL matches in Chennai was an "embarrassment" at a time Tamil Nadu was protesting over the Cauvery issue.

Rajinikanth's comments drew sharp criticism from a group of film directors who led the massive protest where the men in khaki were targeted.

Veteran Director P Bharathiraja who spearheaded the protest, said "When Tamils were targeted all these years, he did not open his mouth. Let him come to the field and talk".

Suggesting that Rajinikanth is speaking on behalf of the BJP, Bharathiraja added "Only his lips are moving but the voice comes from elsewhere".

The actor, who announced in December that he will launch his political party and contest all 234 seats in the assembly polls, had also said that IPL players and spectators should be allowed to wear black bands to register their protest.

Yesterday's protest in Chennai was marked by throwing of slippers into the stadium and burning of yellow jerseys, the colour of Chennai Super Kings, an IPL team.

Over 700 people were briefly detained for the protests during which nearly 4000 security personnel were deployed.

Sources in the cricket body BCCI have said that the remaining IPL matches scheduled to be held in Chennai will be shifted out.

For weeks now, Tamil Nadu state has seen protests and bandhs by political parties, pro-Tamil outfits, voluntary organisations and the film fraternity over the delay in setting up the Cauvery Management Board, an independent regulatory body that will implement sharing of the Cauvery waters between Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry and Kerala.

On February 16, the Supreme Court had set the decades-long water-sharing dispute to rest, asking the centre to implement a scheme for sharing water within six weeks. As the deadline expired, the centre moved court seeking more time, citing the Karnataka assembly polls on May 12.

Earlier this week, the court asked the centre to inform it by May 3 how it planned to implement the water sharing formula in line with the court's verdict delivered in February.