Blockbuster Tamil director Lokesh Kanagaraj has urged fans not to risk their lives in the name of celebrating film releases after a 19-year-old college student, Bharath Kumar of Chintadripet, Chennai, died when he fell from the top of a lorry during the release of the Ajith Kumar-starrer Thunivu on January 11. Speaking to reports on Thursday, the filmmaker said, "It would be nice if fans realized their responsibilities because this is just cinema and there's no need for losing your life. This is only for entertainment and they should watch films happily, and go back home responsibly. I believe one needn't risk life for the sake of celebrations."
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The shocking incident happened outside a popular cinema hall in Chennai after Bharath Kumar climbed up a lorry and fell down during the celebrations of Ajith's Thunivu 1 a.m. show screening. The news of the youngster's death has sent shock waves among fans and many have been expressing their condolences and paying their tributes on social media. According to reports, Bharath was identified as a final-year student of a private arts college in Thoraipakkam and had been working part-time as a food delivery agent, with the police registering a case. Below is Lokesh Kanagaraj's statement:
Fans have been celebrating Ajith Kumar's Thunivu, which has released alongside 'Thalapathy' Vijay's Varisu, and is a big box office meeting of the two Tamil cinema superstars once again after nearly a decade when their films, Veeram and Jilla, had come out for Pongal 2014. The excitement surrounding Vijay and Ajith's latest films has been massive ever since it was announced that they were coming out on the same date ahead of the Pongal festivities.