A 19-year-old fan passed away amid celebrations at Rohini theatre in Chennai, ahead of the release of superstar Ajith’s Thunivu on Wednesday, January 11. As fans gathered in front of the Rohini Theatre Complex near Koyambedu to celebrate the first show of Ajith’s much awaited film scheduled at 1 am, Bharathkumar, a 19-year-old fan who danced in celebration atop a moving lorry along with other fans fell down and died from a spinal injury.
Bharath Kumar was part of a group which were celebrating the release of Thunivu (Brave) at the Rohini Cinema Complex in Koyambedu in the wee hours of Wednesday. The fans of Ajith have been getting ready to celebrate the movie’s release for the last few months as it is directly clashing with Varisu of another popular actor Vijay.
The incident took place at around 1 am when Kumar and a few others climbed atop a tanker lorry that was passing the area and began dancing. However, Kumar fell from the lorry after losing his balance and succumbed to his injuries at Kilpauk Medical College, but he was declared dead at 4.30 am on Wednesday, the police said. “The boy was very young. It is very disheartening to see youngsters indulge in such activities. Why do film producers promote early morning shows?” the police told the media.
Unruly behaviour by fans of both actors was received from several parts of the state, including in Chennai, Coimbatore, and Salem on Wednesday as Varisu and Thunivu opened to full houses. Fans performing pal abhisekham on the day of the release is common, but incidents of tearing of banners and seats in theatres were reported this time.
In another incident in Coimbatore, fans gathered in large numbers at Archana Darshana theatre in the Flower Market area for the 1 am show, and entered the theatre after breaking the gates at 11:30 pm. The police attempted to control the situation, leading to an altercation between them and the fans. The police then charged with batons to disperse the crowd.
After a lengthy protest, fans shattered the glass and handrails and barged into the theatre, crowding the premises densely. A few fans were injured in the commotion and a rod from the gate of the theatre slightly stabbed into the thigh of one of the bouncers who was on security duty. He was taken to the hospital and given first aid. Fans swarmed into the theatre, setting off firecrackers and distracting the police officers. Thnivu was released at 1 am at both theatres amidst the chaos.