Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu: 19-year-old spectator gored to death by bull in Madurai, 28 others injured

Jallikattu, a bull-taming sport played during Pongal festival in Tamil Nadu, turned fatal when a 19-year-old man bled to death during the game in Madurai on Monday, according to media reports. The police said that the incident happened at the end of the bull taming enclosure, known as the 'collection point', News18 reported.

Madurai collector Veera Raghava Rao said the deceased, Kalimuthu, was a participant in the first round and was out later.

Kalimuthu, hailing from Dindigul district, suffered serious injuries when a bull attacked him while he was near the bull collection point by the animal owners. Around 25 others were injured in the event at Palamedu in Madurai, around 500 kilometres from Chennai.

Around 455 bulls participated in the event that began in the morning, IANS reported. The rules of the sport say that a bull tamer will be awarded a prize if he hangs on to the hump of the animal for a certain period of time.

 Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu: 19-year-old spectator gored to death by bull in Madurai, 28 others injured

Representational image. AFP

The incident raises questions on public safety during the sport despite a double barricade separating the arena from the gallery. According to NDTV, around 1,200 bulls were used and an equal number of policemen were posted to guard against any accident. On Sunday, around 79 people, including spectators, were injured in this year's first Jallikattu at Avaniyapuram, also in Madurai.

After mass protests last year against banning the sport, Jallikattu was held after an ordinance was passed amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The Madurai district administration had made elaborate security arrangements at Avaniyapuram where 625 bulls and an equal number of bull tamers participated in the event. Both were subjected to fitness tests.

On Sunday, revenue minister RB Udhayakumar told PTI that the much-anticipated bull taming sport of Jallikattu at Alanganallur in Madurai district on 16 January will see the best tamer and rearer take home cars as prizes. "For the world famed Alanganallur jallikattu, Chief Minister K Palaniswamy will give away a Renault car as prize for the best bull tamer."

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Jan 16, 2018 07:33:58 IST