The government organised the Jallikattu event in a hurry and even failed to erect barricades at the venue where the event was held.
Chennai: Jallikattu, the rural sport held as part of Pongal festivities in Tamil Nadu state, was held in various places across Tamil Nadu after a gap of 3 years. Though, Alanganallur, the traditional venue hosting the event for decades, skipped it after activists refused to vacate the village.
Jallikattu was back in Tamil Nadu, courtesy an ordinance by the Tamil Nadu Government making a state-specific amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, but agitation at the Marina Beach and in another place in the state continued for the 7th straight day with agitators denying to move from their stand demanding a “permanent solution.”
The jallikattu held in Rapoosal village in Pudukkottai district claimed 2 lives as the government organised the event in a hurry and even failed to stiff barricades at the venue where the event was held. Television visuals showed jallikattu being held without any appropriate barricading, which has been mandated in the ordinance circulated on Saturday. In Madurai, 48-year-old Chandramohan, from Jaihindpuram, deceased due to dehydration after protesting for the past few days.
Protesters asked to give 2 months’ time to Centre
In the evening, leading jallikattu campaigner Karthikeyan Sivasenapathy requested the protesters to postpone the agitation till March 31 this year so as to give 2 months’ time for the Union and State Governments to fulfil their promises.
“We respect and worship the agitation. But I think it would be good if the agitation is postponed for 2 months and resuscitate it if the need arises – if the governments do not keep up their word,” he stated.
While a few villages in Thanjavur, Pudukottai and Ramanathapuram districts held jallikattu events, protesters at Alanganallur refused to let officials inside the village to make arrangements. ‘Manjuvirattu’ (a variety of jallikattu) was held at Sevoor and Iruveli villages in Ramanathapuram village.
The government also organised a ‘rekla race’ (bullock cart race) in Western districts of the TN as part of government’s efforts to renovate the rural sports.
Protesters in Alanganallur even went to the level of crouching outside the ‘vadi vaasal’ (the traditional entrance through which bulls enter the jallikattu track), forcing Chief Minister O Panneerselvam who was to initiate the event to return empty-handed. Protesters also refused to conduct jallikattu in Koilpatti village in neighbouring Dindigul district.
Mr Panneerselvam restated that the ordinance once replaced with a law during the Assembly session starting on Monday will be the “permanent solution” for jallikattu and declared, “Nobody on Earth can stop jallikattu from happening in Tamil Nadu.”
At the Marina Beach, the epicentre of the protest which began on Tuesday, protesters continued their agitation, but differences reaped up between them with the original authors of the agitation expressing helplessness saying “fringe elements” are trying to dictate the agenda.