Madurai: At least 100 people have been injured so far in this year’s first Jallikattu, which is the traditional bull taming spectacle held in Tamil Nadu during the four-day Pongal festival. The injuries were reported from events conducted at Avaniyapuram on Tuesday and at Palamedu on Wednesday, Hindustan Times reported.
At Palamedu, more than 500 bulls and 450 tamers participated in the event. On the other hand, around 450 bulls and 550 tamers took part in the event, which was banned by the Supreme Court in 2014 but the ban was later overturned due to government’s intervention owing to widespread protest in the state.
In this spectacle, bulls who are specially reared for this occasion, are unleashed among the bull tamers who try to hold on to the speeding bull by his hump for a specific distance. The bull tamers aim to remove the maximum number of flags attached to the bull while holding on to the animal. The best bull tamers are then awarded gifts ranging from cars to electronic appliances to gold and silver jewellery.
This year, 24-year-old Thirunavukkarasu, a BBA graduate from nearby Muthupatti won the top prize at Avaniyapuram and 27-year-old Prabhakaran was the winner at Palamedu, the daily reported. Also read: What is Jallikattu, the bull-headed sport?
As per the report, out of the 48 tamers wounded at Palamedu, 13 were said to be in a critical condition and were admitted to the hospital. Meanwhile, 8 people out of the 46 injured at Avaniyapuram were in a serious condition and had been referred to a government-run hospital in Madurai.
Nearly 30 people were wounded at Suriyur, Trichy and Sivaganga district at Jallikattu events, the report said.
In 2014, the Supreme Court had banned the traditional game of Jallikattu while hearing a plea by the Animal Welfare Board of India and Peta. The Union government and forests ministry had revoked the ban, the apex court had again reinstated it.
However, following this, massive protests broke out in the state, with thousands of people camping at the Marina Beach in Chennai for more than a week, demanding the ban on Jallikattu to be revoked. In view of the protests, the Tamil Nadu government had to bring in an ordinance to exempt the sport from the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act on January 21, 2017. Later, the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed the legislation.
Date: 16 Jan 2019