At least 5 people died in Tamil Nadu on Sunday during the controversial bull-taming sport Jallikattu that was held across the state.
Three spectators died while watching “eruthu vidum vizha”, a variant of the sport, in Krishnagiri district. L Sanmoorthy, 34, caught his leg in a rope tied to a bull and suffered a head injury as he fell.
“He died on his way to the hospital,” a local police officer said.
An unidentified 60-year-old man also died after suffering head wounds, while the third died of suffocation after being knocked down by a crowd trying to avoid the enraged bull. Police suspect that he was drunk.
In Sivaganga, 19-year-old Sarath Kumar, who was participating in the event, was gored to death. A 52-year-old man, later identified as Anthony Samy, was also gored to death while watching a rekla (bull racing traditional event) at Tuticorin. District police say a bull charged him after it was unharnessed from a cart.
Police investigating the deaths said that in all cases the organisers of the events had failed to adhere to safety regulations, which include placing barriers to separate spectators from the bulls.
A key part of the legislation passed by the Tamil Nadu assembly, which amended the 1960 Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and overturned the 2014 Supreme Court ban on the sport, was that Jallikattu events must adhere to a strict set of safety regulations, for both the bulls and the people involved.
On Saturday, 47 people were injured after a Jallikattu event at Alanganallur. On February 5, 36 people were injured at a similar event at Avanipuram.
In January, three people died after state health minister Vijaya Bhaskar organised a Jallikattu event at his home village of Rapoosal, in Pudukottai district.