Thoothukudi student leader K Santhosh Raj, the student who asked "Who are you?" to actor Rajinikanth when he visited him in the hospital was arrested by the police on Thursday. The 22-year-old student is the President of the All College Students' Federation, hailing from Pandarampatti village. The police said that Santhosh was arrested after allegations of his distributing pamphlets instigating protests against Sterlite Copper. He has been remanded under section153(A)(B), 505(1)(b), the police said.
Santhosh was pursuing his BCom in a college in Thoothukudi and dropped out in his second year but was actively involved in the anti-Sterlite protests. He was severely injured in the Thoothukudi firing that had taken place on May 22, 2018 and was admitted to the hospital along with several other injured people. Actor Rajinikanth had visited the hospital to offer his condolences and when he approached Santhosh, he asked the legendary star who he was. This sent shockwaves in the state and while many applauded what he had done, some others criticised him for it. So much so that he even put out a video apologising to the Superstar for what he had said. But Santhosh had asked similar questions to several other VIPs who had come visiting.
Santhosh's mother told the media that her son left the house around 11.30 am on Thursday after he got an "emergency" phone call. He was subsequently picked up by the police at Pudhurpandiyapuram toll gate. The villagers at Pandarampatti have staged a sit-in protest and Santhosh's mother has said that the protests will continue until her son is released. "When Sterlite has been shut permanently, why are they arresting my son? Even if the Chief Minister orchestrates to shut Sterlite, would the police arrest him?" she questioned.
In connection to the case, Srivaikuntam police had already arrested three persons who distributed pamphlets near a private college in Srivaikuntam on December 19, 2018.