Amid the continuing protests across Tamil Nadu for allowing ‘jallikattu’ during Pongal, the bull taming sport was conducted in coastal Cuddalore town today defying the ban on it, following which 28 people were held.
With Pongal festivities during which jallikattu is organised starting on Saturday, the chorus in support of the sport grew with more sections of people, including students, joining protests in different parts of the state, including in places where it is not so popular.
On a day when the Supreme Court rejected a plea urging it to pass judgement on the sport before Pongal, functionaries of Nam Tamizhar Katchi conducted jallikattu in Cuddalore near the Tiruvanthipuram Devanathaswamy Temple premises and police arrested 28 people for violating the ban.
A Cuddalore district police official told PTI: “28 people belonging to Nam Tamizhar Katchi have been arrested for conducting Jallikattu and a case is being registered against them.”
With the apex court declining to hear the matter, DMK blamed the Centre and state government for “not taking appropriate, timely steps” to ensure conduct of the event and announced a state-wide stir tomorrow.
DMK Working President and Leader of Opposition in the Assembly M K Stalin participated in a demonstration held by college students here seeking permission for jallikattu.
“I extended support for the agitation by participating in their protest. It is welcome that students are holding protests for Jallikattu,” he said.
He said only such solidarity and participation by students “guarded our mother tongue”, in an apparent reference to the large scale anti-Hindi protests by students in 1960’s.
“Similarly, I believe that students’ agitations will protect jallikattu, the cultural symbol of the Tamil people,” he said.
In a Facebook post, he urged state and central governments to take urgent steps to conduct Jallikattu by “bowing” to the sentiments of students.
In places including Coimbatore and Madurai, students took out rallies raising slogans seeking permission for Jallikattu. They held placards expressing love for bulls and stating that the animals are not harassed during the sport.
Protest demonstrations were also held in the state capital. Film personalities including actor Sathyaraj, film maker Karu Pazhaniapan participated in a stir here pledging support for Jallikattu. Actor Simbu held a silent protest.
More than 10,000 people converged at a ground in Coimbatore in support of jallikkattu while protests were staged in Sivaganga, Dindigul, Pudukottai and Salem districts.
Organisers of ‘manjuvirattu’ (a form of jallikattu) in Siravayal in Sivaganga district asserted they would hold the sport as it was part of the temple custom and usage.
Students and local villagers blocked traffic at many places in Madurai, Dindigul and Sivaganga district, a report from Madurai said.