Tamil Nadu assembly passed on Monday the bill that overturned the Supreme Court ban on bull-taming sport Jalikattu as week-long demonstrations turned violent in Chennai.
Police forcibly evicted protesters on Chennai’s Marina Beach that resembled a wrestling ring, resorting to lathi charge and firing tear gas at several places. In Coimbatore, police pounced on a man who threatened self-immolation.
The action came on the day a bill to replace the ordinance allowing Jallikattu will be “placed” in the Tamil Nadu assembly. Protesters had dismissed an ordinance promulgated by the state government a day earlier although the Tamil Nadu government insisted that the ordinance was indeed a “permanent solution”.
The Supreme Court banned Jallikattu in 2014 on grounds of animal cruelty.
Here’s how it happened:
9:30pm: Chennai police commissioner S George defends the forces, says cops did not use force on Jallikattu protesters. “Wanted peaceful dispersion... some anti-social elements were involved.”
8:45pm: Tamil Nadu governor forwards the Jallikattu bill to President Pranab Mukherjee for approval.
7:20pm: DMK’s MK Stalin meets Tamil Nadu governor C Vidyasagar Rao in Chennai.
7:15pm: Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar appeals to the people to end the row over Jallikattu with a celebration after the bill was passed by the Tamil Nadu assembly. “Appeal people don’t let it slip in hands of anti-social elements.”
7pm: With this act (passing the bill), all hurdles to Jallikattu have been removed. All legal and constitutional procedures were followed, says Tamil Nadu CM Panneerselvam.
6:45pm: Protesters who have throned Marina Beach in Chennai for the last 6 days begin leaving after Tamil Nadu assembly passes bill making the bull-taming sport legal.
Meanwhile, fishermen at Nadukuppam in Chennai say police beat them after they tried to enter Marina Beach to sell their catch.
6pm: Sister protests continue across Tamil Nadu. Police have been deployed at Coimbatore’s Gandhipuram Junction and near a railway track in Madurai to disperse protesters. One person is critical and five injured in the Coimbatore demonstration: ANI
5:20pm: AIADMK says Jallikattu bill is passed unanimously by Tamil Nadu assembly.
The new law is called Prevention of Cruelty to Animals TN Amendments Act, 2017.
4.30pm: Actor Rajinikanth says miscreants trying to hijack the protests and bring bad name to the people behind the Jallikattu movement, appeals protesters to end their demonstrations
4:04pm: Tamil Nadu CM O Panneerselvam holds discussion with DGP, home secretary and chief secretary of the state regarding present situation in Tamil Nadu.
3.10pm: Marina Beach presents a deserted look on Monday afternoon after the police crackdown on protesters.
3.00pm: Actor Kamal Haasan came out in support of the protesters, saying “aggressive police action on students’ passive resistance will not bear good results” and urged protesters not to resort to violence.
Actor Balaji also requests protesters to go home, saying the government promulgating an ordinance in itself was a success to the peaceful protests conducted over the last week.“Instead of celebrating the first success, why are you venturing into violent protests,” he asks in a video that was widely circulated in social media.
“I appeal to the protesting students and public to go home. Protests are over. Please go home.” he said.
1.50pm: Union minister Venkaiah Naidu said: “Some parties are trying to create anti-Centre feelings. What is the mistake the Modi government done? The Congress and DMK are supporting this.” The minister also appealed to the protesters in Tamil Nadu to call off their agitation.
1.10pm: The Madras high court declines to hear a matter raised in open court about police action on Jallikattu protesters at Marina Beach. Chief Justice SK Kaul declined to hear the matter saying, “How can the court interfere in administrative matters.”
1.00pm: Chennai police say ‘anti-national elements and locals’ are involved in the violence as most of the students have peacefully dispersed. IT employees block Old Mahabalipuram Road condemning police lathi charges at Marina Beach.
12. 45pm: DCP Balakrishnan speaks to Marina Beach protesters. He warns them that the police will be forced to take action, according to law, if protests turn violent.
12. 40pm: Tamil Nadu assembly will meet for a special session at 5 pm on Monday and is likely to take up the bill to replace the ordinance to amend Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act for a permanent solution for the Jallikattu problem.
The decision was taken at a meeting of the Business Advisory Council which decides on the agenda and duration of a particular session of the state assembly. Assembly speaker P Dhanapal said the bill was expected to be passed on Monday itself.
12.30pm: BJP leader Subramanian Swamy welcomes police action on Marina Beach. “I welcome it. This was to be done. After all, their demand was to be conceded and Jallikattu is going to be legitimised by an act that is to be passed by the Tamil Nadu assembly and so what is the point in protesting?” Swamy told ANI.
12.15pm: Protesters in Alanganallur agree to end demonstrations, Jallikattu to be held there on February 1, tweets AIADMK. Police also say that a petrol bomb was hurled at the Ice House station but it was unclear who did it.
11.50am: Protesters set fire to vehicles parked outside the Ice House police station at Triplicane, near Marina Beach. They also pelted stones at policemen trying to clear the beach. Around 30 bikes were set on fire and 20 officials were reportedly injured. Police say locals were involved and not protesters.
11.30am: Police detain more than 100 students near Meenakshi Hall in Coimbatore, reports ANI. Security personnel forcibly remove protesters at Alanganallur in Madurai district.
11:27am: “The unprecedented and spontaneous outpouring of emotion and sentiment in a completely orderly and peaceful manner by lakhs of youth, supported by common people across the state, has received the solidarity of Tamil people across the globe to conduct Jallikatu and preserve Tamil cultural heritage,” Tamil Nadu governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao said, even as the opposition DMK staged a walkout.
10:30am: Fishermen deliver food packets to protesters at Marina beach via the sea after police block all roads leading to area. Food was also distributed to protesters at Thamukam in Madurai district.
10.12am: DMK stages a walkout as soon as the Tamil Nadu governor begins his address, reports ANI.
10.10am: Ten people injured and hospitalised after police lathi-charge protesters on Pycroft road. Tear gas also used at Aavai Shanmugham Salai in Chennai.
10.00am: Tamil Nadu assembly session begins, Jallikattu bill to be tabled. After the Governor’s address to the assembly, the government is expected to move a bill to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
9:40am: DMK working president MK Stalin says it’s highly condemnable to use force to disperse crowd who were fighting democratically, reports ANI.
The state Govt has totally mismanaged the situation and have failed to engage with students: MK Stalin #jallikattu— ANI (@ANI_news) January 23, 2017
9:30 am: 150 protesters arrested in Dindigul after they refused to disband.
9:15 am: Jallikattu supporters being forcefully evicted from the protesting site in Madurai’s Tamukkam.
9.00 am: Police forcefully evict protesters assembled at Coimbatore’s VOC Ground. Heavy police force deployment in Madurai’s Alanganallur, reports ANI.
8:40am: Additional police forces deployed across state, roads leading to protest venues being blocked.
8.20am: Fishermen come out in support of the protesters at Chennai’s Marina Beach, reports ANI.
8.15am: Protesters begin to disperse at Vellore bus stand and Thiruvannamalai RDO office, pandals have been removed.
7:50am: Police partially clear Marina Beach, protesters forcefully evicted, reports ANI.
We urge all students to kindly support us, we are not a separate country but a state of India. Police beating us: Protester,Marina Beach pic.twitter.com/35BxuJBHKm— ANI (@ANI_news) January 23, 2017
7: 45am: Protesters threaten police saying they will commit suicide if forcefully removed from Marina beach. Form human chain, threaten to jump into the sea if police continue to evict them.
7:30am: Jallikattu supporters gather in Madurai’s Tamukkam, demand a permanent solution.
7:25am: Chennai police restrict access to Marina beach, block all roads leading up to it.
7.25 am: In Washington DC, Tamil-Americans gathered at the Gandhi status on Sunday evening to hold a rally in support of the ongoing Jallikattu movement demanding lifting of the ban on bull-taming sport. “Today’s rally is to show our solidarity with our people back home fighting against ban on Jallikattu,” said one of the protesters.
Currently happening - Jallikattu protests in front of Indian Embassy, Washington DC, USA. Cr - a friend of mine who is there. pic.twitter.com/y2Q8Ze6Kww— Saran Shanmugam (@saranstm) January 22, 2017
7:23am: Routes leading to Marina Beach closed as barricades are put up by police to prevent people from assembling there.
7:20am: The police action comes following an early morning ‘advisory’ asking the agitators to end their ‘disciplined and peaceful’ protest as their “purpose has been fully achieve.”
7. 00am: In an early morning crackdown, the police begin removing scores of protesters who were demonstrating at the Marina beach for the past one week, demanding a permanent solution for holding Jallikattu.
(With agency inputs)