Published: Mon, January 23, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Tamil Nadu: 2 dead, over 80 injured as hundreds participate in Jallikattu

Protests forced chief Minister O Panneerselvam to leave for Chennai without inaugurating a Jallikattu event at Alanganallur in Maduria, where protesters sought a "permanent solution" to ensure unhindered conduct of the sport every year.

Shops and establishments' associations in various parts of Chennai and across the state have made a decision to down their shutters as a mark of protest against the ban on Jallikattu.

The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), the main opposition party in the state, launched a "rail roko" agitation in support of Jallikattu. The current ordinance makes an exception for Tamil Nadu in the central law Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, to include Jallikattu bulls in the category of "trained animals used in the military, police, exhibitions, zoos or for educational and scientific purposes".

Health minister C. Vijaya Baskar waved a flag to start Jallikattu in Pudukottai where 40 bulls took part. However, the celebrations were disrupted in certain areas such as Codissia Grounds in Coimbatore, where a rekla (bull-racing) event held by the ruling AIADMK was brought a halt by agitators.

PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss, who was detained in Delhi for protesting outside the prime minister's residence, said, in a statement, that his party would hold Jallikattu on Republic Day, Jan. 26, in case the center failed to promulgate an ordinance to facilitate the hugely popular sport. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has "assured all support" to Tamil Nadu government's action for conduct of Jallikattu, she added.

"I consider Tamils' rights and sentiments as (my) two eyes". Almost every top Tamil movie star and politician extended their support to the youth protesting in favour of Jallikattu, which is to Tamilians is "bull embracing".

In a rare show of unity and determination, people and government of Tamil Nadu presented a joint front to demand lift from the ban from the sport which involved bull fighting and taming, in order to preserve culture of the Tamil traditions. After consulting Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, Law Ministry has forwarded the ordinance to President Pranab.

The TN government had proposed to issue an ordinance to allow Jallikattu.

The Congress also said that its modalities, sensitivities and mannerism will need to be worked out by the centre and state government.

Madurai Collector Veeraraghava Rao too held talks with the jallikattu committee members and urged them to conduct the event.

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