An arrest warrant has been issued against actors Vijayakumar, Suriya, Vivek, Arunn Vijay, Sri Priya, Sathyaraj, Sarath Kumar, and Cheran, after they failed to show up at a court hearing on May 15. The hearing pertained to a defamation case filed in 2009 when the actors had made derogatory remarks against journalists.
A spokesperson for Suriya and Vivek has now told Silverscreen that the actors will fight it out in court.
In 2009, actress Bhuvaneshwari was arrested on prostitution charges by the Tamil Nadu police. Reportedly, she had revealed names of other Tamil actresses involved in the prostitution ring. Several news agencies carried detailed reports of this incident, which irked the Tamil film industry.
Subsequently, on October 7, 2009, the Nadigar Sangam organised a meeting in protest. The eight actors made derogatory statements against journalists and insulted them at this. Following this, senior correspondent Rozario Mariya Susai filed a private complaint against the eight actors.
The court case was heard at the Ooty Court, during which none of the eight accused were present. This was the second occasion on which the actors had failed to appear before the case. Hence, a warrant was issued.
Actor Vijayakumar told Silverscreen that his right to free speech was being curtailed by such cases. “Just as they have the right to accuse a completely innocent person of prostitution, we can do the same as well. But, they have gotten away with their insults scot-free while we suffer. We’re being prosecuted only because we’re artists. I’m sure a lot of normal people had similar sentiments as well.”
A spokesperson for Suriya and Vivek confirmed that the actors had been notified of the latest developments. “We’ll fight it out in court. We hope justice prevails,” their PR told Silverscreen.
Meanwhile, a fake account claiming to be that of comedian Robo Shankar tweeted support for Suriya on the issue. A short while later, the tweet went viral.
Following this, the real Robo Shankar issued a denial, and said that he had nothing whatsoever to do with the account. “I am the kind of man who always supports journalists. I also don’t like being part of fights and controversies. The account has been tweeting bad things for a long time. Despite many complaints, there has been no action. So I urge the public to not follow that account. It is not mine.”