As Tamil Nadu conducts jallikattu, 2 die during sport, 1 in protests

 Chennai/Madurai: Three persons died, two during jallikattu in Pudukottai and one during demonstration at Madurai, as the bull taming sport was conducted on Sunday in various parts of Tamil Nadu amid protests which forced chief Minister O Panneerselvam to leave for Chennai without inaugurating it at Alanganallur.

Protesters at Alanganallur in Madurai refused to conduct the sport, steadfast in their demand for a 'permanent solution' to ensure unhindered annual conduct of the sport.

On Saturday, Panneerselvam had said he would inaugurate the bull taming sport at Alanganallur, famous for holding jallikattu events, at 10 am.

With an Ordinance being promulgated for holding jallikattu, the sport was organised in several parts of the state, including Rapoosal in Pudukottai district.

Police said two persons were killed and 28 injured when they were gored by a bull during jallikattu at Rapoosal in which several bulls were used and many sportsmen took part.

Representational image. PTI

Representational image. PTI

They said 48-year-old Chandramohan, from Jaihindpuram, died due to dehydration in Madurai city when he was taking part in the protests along with students and youths demanding a permanent solution for holding jallikattu.

At the Marina beach, epicentre of the stir for the last six days, protesters continued to stay put demanding a permanent solution for holding the sport besides a ban on animal rights group Peta.

Groups of agitators continued their protests at several locations in the state, raising the same demand.

Speaking to reporters at Madurai before leaving for Chennai, Panneerselvam said, "The ban on jallikattu has been removed completely, the sport will be held at Alanganallur, on a date decided by local people."

He said jallikattu was held in all parts of Tamil Nadu with the local adminstration and police taking all stipulated measures to hold the sport.

With protesters demanding a permanent solution for holding the sport and raising slogans that ordinance was only a temporary measure, Panneerselvam said: "State's jallikattu ordinance route is permanent, robust and sustainable, will be made into a law in the coming Assembly session."

He reiterated that there was no ban following the promulgation of the ordinance and said the ordinance would be replaced by a law after bringing in a bill in the Assembly session, beginning at Chennai on Monday.

Panneerselvam, who had announced that he would inaugurate jallikattu at Alanganallur, had to stay back in a hotel in Madurai following the stir there by protesters who demanded a permanent measure to be in place.

Following that, Panneerselvam was expected to inaugurate jallikattu at Natham Kovilpatti in Dindigul. However, there were protests there too, raising the same demand.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government has filed a caveat in the Supreme anticipating challenge to its ordinance allowing jallikattu in the state.

Following unrelenting protests, DMK and other Opposition parties urged the Centre to take steps for conducting the sport annually without any hindrance.

DMK working president M K Stalin urged the chief minister to hold talks with protesters and "stop insisting" that the Ordinance route will yield permanent results, ensuring unhindered annual conduct of the sport.

"Despite its safeguards, an Ordinance that does not enjoy the confidence of people will not yield any practical results. Therefore, the chief minister should stop insisting that the ordinance route is permanent and talk to the protesting youths and explain to them the state government's efforts for a permanent solution to the matter and pacify them," he said.

In his blog, former Supreme Court judge Markandey Katju said on Sunday that the apprehensions of sections of protesters seeking a "permanent solution" were unfounded as the ordinance to allow jallikattu will be replaced by an Act of the state legislature which will be "permanent".

Meanwhile, many inter and intra-state trains were cancelled fully or partially as has been the case for the past three days, the Southern Railways said.

At Thanjavur, students held placards and staged protests between the railway station and old bus-stand area. Some students continued their protest for the sixth day in front of the Thanjavur head post office.

Some 500 youths reportedly picketed a passenger train from Mayiladuthurai to Tirunelvelli at Kumbakonam as part of the protest.

A report from Ramanathapuram said 'Manjuvirattu' (a variety of jallikattu) was held at Sevoor and Iruveli and people participated on a large-scale.

The participants welcomed the ordinance and expressed confidence that they would be able to organise it every year.


Updated Date: Jan 22, 2017 17:51 PM

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