After a morning of violent protests across the state of Tamil Nadu, the state assembly on Monday passed a bill that replaces an ordinance and legalises jallikattu, the bull taming sport, in the state. The bill, which was tabled by Chief Minister O Panneerselvam, was passed within minutes of its introduction. The bill replaced the ordinance that was promulgated on Saturday amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. The latest development comes at a time when peaceful protest over the issue turned violent over allowing the bull-taming sport across the state.
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Earlier on Monday, Chennai police started evicting scores of pro-jallikattu demonstrators from protest venues across the state, especially from the Marina Beach, which was the epicentre of the stir for the past one week. Reports also said that the protesters resorted to stone-pelting and police lathicharged.
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At the Marina, the police action began early on Monday morning with roads to the beach being cordoned off and police personnel being deployed in large numbers. Some protesters lined up at the seashore forming a human chain and a group entered the water refusing to heed police requests to disperse.
Some others staged a sit-in on the sands while others regrouped in nearby areas, shouting slogans and allegedly throwing stones on policemen.
Police burst teargas shells and reportedly lathi charged to chase away a section of protesters who had regrouped at Triplicane near Marina Beach and allegedly started throwing stones at police personnel.
The protesters had been demonstrating for the past one week demanding lifting of the ban on jallikattu.
Despite promulgation of an ordinance on Saturday for conducting the bull-taming sport, they had vowed to carry on with their protest till a permanent solution was found to ensure that the sport is held annually without any hindrance.
TV visuals showed men and women in khaki physically removing protesters from the beach. At Coimbatore, police forcibly evicted the protesters from VOC Park Grounds here where they were agitating for the last six days. As the appeal made by senior officials to clear the grounds failed, police in large numbers started to bodily lift the protesters and shift them out of the venue.
Women police personnel were seen taking women agitators, some elderly and some with babies in their arms, out of the grounds, despite them appealing with folded hands not to disturb the peaceful agitation.
Even as some protesters were seen leaving the venue voluntarily, police removed nearly 300 protesters from there, police said.
Protesting against the police action, some youths formed a human chain on the main Avanashi chain and police made a 'mild' cane charge to disperse them, police said.
A section of protesters were raising slogans in support of their demand for a permanent act for conducting jallikkatu and against Peta and police, near the Central Jail, some 200 metres from the venue, prompting the police to take into custody nearly 300 people, they said.
Police said they had cleared the ground, venue for the Republic Day function, and it is under control of the district administration and police.
Protests are reportedly continuing in Madurai with demonstrators allegedly throwing stones at police in Alanganallur even as officials are trying to persuade the agitators to disperse.
Police forcibly removed protesters from protest venues at Alanganallur, famous for jallikattu events, when they refused to heed to their repeated requests to disperse.
According to Alanganallur police, 20 people, many of them policemen, were injured in stone-pelting by protesters. Roads near the protest venue was strewn with stones, glass pieces and logs.
Alanganallur village is now under the control of the police, they added.
Police said protesters at Cuddalore, Tirunelveli and Erode had dispersed. Earlier, the Alanganallur village committee, which was satisfied with the ordinance, had agreed to hold jallikattu on February 1 and thanked those who participated in the agitation in favour of the bull-taming sport.
Though the decision of the local committee was made through public announcement system, some miscreants at the agitation venue refused to disperse and started pelting stones, police said. There was a scuffle between police and some youths in which protesters were injured. Police were forced to take action as several rounds of talks failed, an official said.
Police said the situation was fully under control and some persons who were seen instigating the crowd have been detained for questioning. Meanwhile, DIG of Police Anand Somani led a flag march in the village to boost the confidence of the local people.
In Madurai, Additional SP Murugesh held talks with protesting students and urged them to disperse. One woman was injured in the scuffle between police and youths in the city. Police resorted to lathicharge at two places in Coimbatore to disperse protesters who allegedly indulged in stone pelting against the security force.
A group of students of a private engineering college squatted on the airport road to protest eviction from VOC Park Grounds and seeking a permanent solution to the jallikkattu issue.
Police resorted to mild lathicharge after they refused to disperse, police said. Three police personnel, including a woman, were injured when they started pelting stones. The injured have been admitted to the government hospital, they said. Meanwhile, some 200 people sat on dharna near the Central Bus stand in Gandhipuram to protest police action. Police managed to chase them away.
According to police, about 300 persons, including students, who were removed from VOC Park grounds during the crackdown and lodged at a marriage hall, refused to have lunch and announced their decision to observe a fast, police said.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Jan 23, 2017 21:14 PM