In Jallikattu Heartland, Supporters Face Police Lathis, Not Bulls

Hundreds protested in Madurai demanding that the ban on the ancient sport be lifted.

2 min read
Jallikattu is a popular sport in many districts in Tamil Nadu. (Photo: PTI)

Alanganallur, the mecca of Jallikattu, witnessed its villagers being lathicharged by police following protests against the Supreme Court ban on the bull-taming sport. Visuals showed dozens of police out on the street, with personnel even seizing bulls that had been let loose in the village. Local reports also stated that 30 people were detained following the protests.

Hundreds, including men and women, participated in the protest in Alanganallur, and in Madurai demanding that the ban on the ancient sport be lifted.

A large contingent of police personnel had been deployed at the venue to prevent any untoward incidents. Even as the police tried to prevent the event, some bulls were let loose, leading to excitement and tension in the village. Earlier in the morning, Tamil TV channels beamed visuals live from the village, showing the bull being let loose into the crowd and men chasing it. However, ground reports maintain that Jallikattu was not held, and that the bulls just went wild.

In the last few days, small groups in different parts of the state have held Jallikattu and rekla, a bullock cart race in defiance of the Supreme Court ban.

The Supreme Court in May 2014 banned the conduct of Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu. The court also held that bulls cannot be used as performing animals either for Jallikattu events or for bullock cart races in the Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country.

Ever since the ban order, political parties in Tamil Nadu have been demanding that the central government take necessary legal steps to conduct the sport.

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