Actor Suriya Provided With Armed Police at His Residence Amid 'Jai Bhim' Row

According to local reports, a PMK leader has announced a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh to anyone who attacks Suriya.

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New Delhi: Actor Suriya has been provided with armed police at his residence in Chennai after he received threats following the release of the Tamil film Jai Bhim, according to the Indian Express. The actor did not seek protection from the police.

The film has come under attack from various Vanniyar outfits, which have accused the film of maligning the community. The police protection comes after a leader of the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), a political party that primarily represents the interests of the Vanniyar caste, announced a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh to anyone who attacks Suriya. Local reports said that the party’s Nagapattinam district secretary Sithamalli Pazhani Saamy further said that none of the actor’s movies will be allowed to be screened in the district.

Earlier, K. Balu, the spokesperson of the PMK, on behalf of the Vanniyar Sangam, a caste body representing the community, had served a notice to Suriya and his wife Jyothika of 2D Entertainment, director T.J. Gnanvel and Amazon Prime Video, saying the movie depicts the Vanniyar community in a poor light.

The notice sought Rs 5 crore in damages, which are to be paid “within a period of seven days from the time and date of receipt of this notice.”

While the movie is based on the real-life custodial death of a man from the Irular tribe, the Vanniyar Sangam claims the character of the policeman who tortures Rajakannu, the man who is killed, “has been deliberately depicted as belonging to the Vanniyar caste”. In the movie, Suriya plays a role inspired by Justice (Retired) K. Chandru, who fought the case as a lawyer in 1993.

The notice says: “Our client states that you have retained the real names of the real characters in the real incident in the movie … But deliberately you have changed the name of the sub-inspector. In the real story, the sub-inspector who is involved in the custodial death of the under trial was called Anthonysamy, who was Christian by religion.”

Also read: In Tamil Nadu, It Isn’t Just the BJP Which Struggles With the Core Values of Tamil Identity

After Suriya and the film’s makers faced criticism, several film personalities including, Bharathiraja of the Tamil Film Active Producers Association, leading directors like Vetrimaran, Pa. Ranjith, Venkat Prabhu and Lokesh Kanagaraj have been posting messages in support of the film.

No one can be made to feel lesser for doing the right thing#Jaibheem. Suriya is one star who is redefining stardom. pic.twitter.com/BUdjw6v0g1

— Vetri Maaran (@VetriMaaran) November 16, 2021

According to Indian Express, Suriya has handed over a cheque of Rs 15 lakh to Rajakannu’s wife Parvathy, whose life story inspired the plot of Jai Bhim. CPI(M) state secretary K. Balakrishnan prasied the actor on Twitter on Tuesday to congratulate him and the crew for their gesture.