CHENNAI: A 19-year-old youth who had come to Rohini Theatre at Koyambedu in Chennai on Tuesday to watch Ajith-starrer ‘Thunivu’ died after he fell down from a moving lorry on which he was dancing to celebrate the release of the movie.
Police identified the deceased as Bharath Kumar of Ritchie Street in Chintadripet. The student of a private college in Chennai had joined hundreds of fans near the theatre around midnight for the celebration. While ‘Thunivu’ was released in theatres across Tamil Nadu at 1am on Wednesday, actor Vijay’s flick, ‘Varisu’, opened for screening at 4am.
“Hundreds of Ajith and Vijay fans blocked the Poonamallee High Road near the theatre. They halted a truck passing through the road and climbed atop the vehicle to tie the banners of the movies. They were also dancing to drum beats played by a group on the road,” said a senior police officer.
Around 1am, the truck driver attempted to slowly move the vehicle through the crowd. When he suddenly slammed the brake to prevent the truck from mowing down the fans, Kumar, who was standing atop the vehicle, fell on the road. He was rushed to Kilpauk Hospital where doctors said he had broken his spinal cord. A few hours later, Kumar died of injuries.
Police use force as fans turn violent
Police sources said unruly behavior by Vijay and Ajith’s fans were reported across state on Tuesday and Wednesday. Banners were torn in some theatres and stone-pelting and traffic blocks were also seen in some places. Police presence was beefed up in Koyambedu area and cops had to use mild force to disperse the crowd.
As hundreds of fans attempted to enter Rohini Theatre at the same time, glass panes installed at the entrance were damaged, sources said. Meanwhile, some unidentified individuals tore the banners of Ajith and Vijay kept at the theatre.
This led to a minor scuffle in which three people were injured on Wednesday. The Koyambedu police have registered two separate cases against Ajith fans and Vijay fans for creating ruckus and damaging property. Owner of Rohini Theatre had given an oral complaint to the police saying that at least 200 seats were damaged.
Meanwhile, two men who were flying a drone without permission were detained and let off on station bail. Tension also prevailed in some theatres in Coimbatore. Police had to use mild force to control the crowd as fans started gathering in front of a theatre at RS Puram from 11.30 pm for the first show scheduled at 1.30am. As private security personnel deployed in the theatre tried to control the surging crowd, some angry fans damaged the main gate, steel railings, and glass panes.