Police chase away unruly fans of actor Vijay

Nagapattinam, Feb 22 (Pti) Lathi-wielding policemenchased away unruly fans of actor Vijay at a meeting to protestthe attack on Tamil fishermen allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy.

A large number of Vijay''s fans had gathered for themeeting but it started two hours behind schedule due to adownpour.

Vijay came to the stage and spoke only a few words,saying he had travelled all the way from Pollachi only to meetthem.

However, as the downpour continued, he suspended hisspeech mid-way, promising he would resume it soon.

The fans, who were eager to get a glimpse of the star,lost their patience with the downpour compounding thesituation and leading to utter confusion.

As the restive crowd was turning unruly, police wieldedthe lathis and chased them away.

However, after an hour, Vijay came back and began hisspeech. He said that his concern for the sufferings of thefishermen was not new. "The moment I saw the film ''Padakoti''by MGR, I became a sympathiser of fishermen," he said.

Condemning the attacks on the Indian fishermen allegedlyby the Sri Lankan Navy, Vijay said Tamils were like tigersand they will not tolerate injustice. He called upon his fansto bombard the state and central governments with telegramsseeking sincere steps to stop the attacks on the fishermen.

In the meeting, a two minute silence was observed as amark of respect for Parvathiyammal, mother of LTTE leaderPrabhakaran, who passed away on Sunday.

Later, speaking to reporters, Vijay''s father SAChandrashekar said the public meeting was not a politicalpodium. Vijay had come to Nagapattinam only to share hisfeelings with the fishermen, he said. He clarified that Vijaywould not enter politics directly now.

Nagapattinam District Superintendent of Police SantoshKumar said that the police did not resort to lathi charge.

Speaking to PTI, he said when Vijay first came on stage,there were some problems with the sound system, due to whichthe actor had to temporarily suspend his speech.

The crowd turned unruly and started breaking thebarricades put up at the venue, he said. To bring order, thepolice just chased away the unruly persons, he added.

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