A video of Rajinikanth’s fans beheading a goat and anointing the poster of his upcoming film Annaatthe with its blood went viral on social media recently. Following this, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is working with the police to get an FIR registered over the incident, Meet Ashar, Associate Manager, Emergency Response Team (PETA India), confirmed to Silverscreen India.
On Friday, Sun Pictures, which is backing the Rajinikanth-starrer, released Annaatthe’s first-look poster. Following this, a video surfaced where the actor’s fans can be seen beheading a live goat in a public space and anointing the newly-released poster with the goat’s blood.
Following this incident, the actor’s publicity manager Riaz Ahmed shared a statement from VM Sudhakar of Akila India Rajinikanth Rasigar Mandram, the actor’s official fan club, condemning the incident. “A video of a few people sacrificing a goat and anointing the blood on Annaatthe’s first look poster has been doing rounds on social media. Such behaviour is strongly condemnable and also causes great distress. We kindly request everyone to refrain from such disgusting acts,” read the statement in Tamil.
When Silverscreen India reached out to PETA for its stance on the matter, Meet said that the fans’ action of killing the goat was “cruel and apparently illegal”and the organisation is working with the police to get an FIR registered over the incident.
According to PETA, killing an animal outside a licensed slaughterhouse is an “apparent violation” of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Slaughter House) Rules, 2001. The rule states, “No person shall slaughter any animal within a municipal area except in a slaughter house recognised or licensed by the concerned authority empowered under the law for the time being in force to do so.”
Pointing out that animal sacrifice violates the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which states that anyone who mutilates or kills any animal in an “unnecessarily cruel manner” is committing a punishable offence, Meet said that killing a goat in a place other than a licensed slaughterhouse is also a punishable offence under Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code.
Meet noted that PETA aims to create awareness about cruelty to animals and urges people to resort to “compassionate methods that do not harm animals for their celebrations.” He added that Rajinikanth’s power can make a “positive difference to the lives of all living beings” and requested the actor to use it to stop goat slaughter in his name.
It is to be noted that Rajinkanth’s fans have been notorious for goat sacrifices in the past as well. In 2018, PETA had requested the actor to intervene after a section of his fandom in Madurai announced plans to sacrifice goats at a prayer meet held for Rajinikanth’s political success.