Jallikattu begins: Madurai's Palamedu arena hosts bull taming sport, 850 animals registered

Madurai's famous jallikattu arena Palamedu hosted the bull taming sport on Thursday, reports said. The event, which is taking place after two years after a ban on the sport was lifted in January, started at 8 am and will go on until 4 pm on Thursday.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

According to a report in The Hindu, 850 bulls have been registered and 1,600 bull tamers will participate in the event. The district administration and the village committee have undertaken elaborate arrangements to ensure safety measures are put in place, it said.

However, 36 people were injured (one of them seriously) in a jallikattu event held at Avanipuram, another arena in Madurai district, on Sunday despite high-security arrangements, a report in The Indian Express said.

Thousands of spectators had turned up to watch the event that saw more than 700 bull-tamers participate, Tribune India reported.

On 23 January, the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a bill that replaced an ordinance and legalised jallikattu. The bill, which was tabled by former chief minister O Panneerselvam, was passed within minutes of its introduction.

The bill replaced an ordinance that was promulgated on 21 January amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act that led to the ban of the sport in the state. The Tamil Nadu Assembly passed the bill after a peaceful protest over the issue turned violent and Chennai police had to evict scores of pro-jallikattu demonstrators from protest venues across the state, especially from the Marina Beach, which was the epicentre of the stir.

Reports also said that the protesters resorted to stone-pelting and the police lathicharged.

In January 2016, the Centre issued an ordinance lifting the ban on jallikattu with certain restrictions, which was challenged in the apex court by Animal Welfare Board of India, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, and others. Following this, the Supreme Court stayed the central government's notification taking strong objection to it as it was aimed at negating a Supreme Court order.

In May 2014, the Supreme Court had upheld the constitutional status for rights of animals like citizens quashing the Tamil Nadu Regulation of Jallikattu Act, 2009. Taking cognisance of the natural behavioural patterns of the animals, the apex court bench ruled that jallikattu and all such similar sports are cruel towards animals and therefore should be banned.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Feb 09, 2017 13:27:18 IST

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