Decks were cleared on Friday night for the promulgation of an ordinance by the Tamil Nadu government for conducting bull-taming sport Jallikattu, with the Union ministries of environment and law giving its nod.
The move came even as thousands continued to stage protests against the ban on Jallikattu. Protesters thronged Chennai’s signature Marina Beach, and cities and towns across the state. Celebrities and sportspersons have rallied behind demonstrators in Tamil Nadu, demanding that Jallikattu be allowed in the state during Pongal festivities.
The Tamil Nadu government said it drafted an ordinance to ensure that the bull-taming sport is held in the state. Sources said the proposal of the Tamil Nadu government was cleared by the Centre without recommending any changes.
Here are the live updates:
Law,Environment and Culture ministries clear Tamil Nadu's Govt's ordinance on #jallikattu— ANI (@ANI_news) January 20, 2017
After consulting AG Mukul Rohatgi, the law ministry forwarded the Tamil Nadu government’s ordinance to President Mukherjee.
* In the state government’s draft ordinance, bulls will be denotified from the list of ‘performing animals’ in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
* Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi had opined that by taking this route, the state can bring out an ordinance which is tenable legally.
7:25pm: Actor Rana Daggubati supported the protests for Jallikattu, saying it is amazing to see people come together to support their tradition.
“Jallikattu is a part of Tamil Nadu’s culture. The protest that is going on there in support of Jallikattu at the Chennai’s Marina beach is very touching. It is in the right direction,” Rana said at a press conference in the second day of Jaipur Literature Festival.
7:10pm: Lakshmi Saravanakumar, writer and recipient of the Sahitya Akademi’s Yuva Puraskar returned his award, protesting against the lack of “positive” action from the Centre on the Jallikattu issue.
6:57pm: The Tamil Nadu government’s announcement that it would issue an ordinance to ensure the conduct of Jallikattu sport drew a sharp reaction from eminent jurist Soli Sorabjee who said such a move could be constitutionally invalid.
“The central government wants to consult the state government and sort it (the issue of Jallikattu) out. Very good. But to run an ordinance in these circumstances is out of the question. It will not be warranted at all,” the former attorney general told some television channels, PTI reported.
5:51pm: The environment ministry gave its observations to the proposal sent by the Tamil Nadu government for lifting of the ban on Jallikatu and returned it to the home ministry for final decision.
“The proposal was submitted to the home ministry. The home ministry sent it to us for comments. We gave our comments and have sent it back to the home ministry for further vetting,” a source in the environment ministry said.
5:37pm: With traders downing shutters following a bandh call against Jallikattu ban, employees of information technology, banks and other commercial establishments today staged a protest here expressing their solidarity to the cause.
Banking operations took a hit with some employees taking part in protests called by Bank Employees Federation of India, Tamil Nadu unit and All India Bank Employees Association, PTI reported.
4:30pm: The BJP, for its part, said DMK can “only” stage protests on the Jallikattu issue and the ruling party at the Centre alone can find a solution to the vexed issue.
4:20pm: DMK welcomed CM O Panneerselvam’s announcement that Tamil Nadu government will issue an ordinance to amend the Prevention of Cruelty Act to allow Jallikattu, but insisted that bulls should be permanently removed from ‘performing animals’ category by the Centre so that the sport is held in the state annually, PTI reported.
4:08pm: As many as 500 Jallikattu supporters gathered in Mumbai’s Chembur to form a human chain in support of the bull-taming sport.
2:56pm: Amid demands to lift the ban, the government said it is making efforts to bring out a “legal solution” at the earliest. Law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in New Delhi that the Narendra Modi government respects the culture of Tamil Nadu and is mindful of the sentiments expressed by the people in the state through a peaceful protest.
2:40pm: The Centre is in talks with the state government and we will ensure there is a solution soon, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad tells TV channels.
2:30pm: After Rajinikanth, Kamal Hasan also joins protests against SC ban on Jallikattu, TV reports say.
Ganesh Venkatraman, also present at the protest site, reiterates their demand: “All we are asking is for Supreme Court to show sensitivity in this issue.”
2:25pm: The Madras HC dismissed a PIL seeking the enactment of a special law with conditions by the Centre and the Tamil Nadu government for holding Jallikattu, saying it cannot issue such a direction.
“The court cannot issue such a direction,” the bench, comprising Chief Justice S K Kaul and Justice M Sundar said while hearing a petition by K K Ramesh, Managing Trustee of Tamil Nadu Centre for Public Interest Litigation.
2:07pm: Pressing for an ordinance for conducting Jallikattu, AIADMK MPs met Union home minister Rajnath Singh, who assured them that the Centre will take action so that the Tamil Nadu government could promulgate it in the next few days.
“The Home Minister has assured us that the file on ordinance will be processed as early as possible so that the ordinance can be promulgated in next two-three days,” Lok Sabha deputy speaker M Thambidurai told PTI.
2:04pm: Amid the controversy of Jallikattu, the Supreme Court agreed not to pronounce its verdict on the bull-taming sport for one week.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra agreed to put the pronouncement on hold on a plea by Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi who told the court that “cultural passions” were running high in the state, IANS reported.
2pm: Opposition leader MK Stalin demands that the Centre must remove bulls from list of performing animals in the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals Act, announcing that he will lead a fast on Saturday with party.
1:51pm: After superstar Mahesh Babu, actor-politician Pawan Kalyan has extended support for Jallikattu. He said the ban on the bull-taming sport is a direct attack on Dravidian culture and its integrity.
“Ban on Jallikattu and cockfight by government of India is an attack on Dravida culture and its integrity. This is how it is being viewed in dakshin (south) Hindustan. I had observed this deep hurt in people while shooting in Pollachi, Tamil Nadu,” Pawan Kalyan tweeted on Friday.
1:30pm: We also expect the notification of ordinance will appear by day after tomorrow (Sunday). It will definitely happen: Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam.
“Vaadivasal will be opened for Jallikattu within a day or two. I will inaugurate the Jallikattu event.”
1:10pm: Environment minister Anil Dave holds a press conference, asking everyone to be patient about the decision and reiterating that the government wants to protect the sentiments of Tamil Nadu. “By today evening or tomorrow, we’ll be able to reach a conclusion about Jallikattu.”
Hinting at a possible amendment to the Prevention to Cruelty against Animals Act, Dave says: “In 2011, the bull was added in the list of performing animals. If they didn’t do that, we wouldn’t have been sitting here.”
“Today the home minister has received a proposal from Tamil Nadu government. The entire proposal is under consideration. Different ministries are giving a thought to it. The paper is on way to the environment ministry. I am sure within the shortest time we will be able to reach on the final decision,” he told reporters.
1:05pm: Centre and Tamil Nadu govt are talking. It will be decided if Centre or state will act or even both can intervene.All options are open: AG Mukul Rohatgi
12:55pm: Stepping up pressure against Jallikattu ban, DMK announces that it will go on one-day fast on Satuday, led by Stalin in Valluvar Kottam.
12:50pm: Leaders from Tamil Nadu’s ruling party will also meet President Pranab Mukherjee at 2pm on Saturday, asking him to approve the ordinance.
12:40pm: AIADMK lawmakers meet Rajnath Singh, urging promulgation of ordinance in support of Jallikattu.
We had come to urge the home minister to take steps for promulgation of ordinance in support of Jallikattu, Deputy Speaker M Thambi Durai says.
12:15pm: Actor Rajinikanth joins the protest organised by Nadigar Sangam against Jallikattu ban in Chennai, reports NDTV.
12pm: AIADMK lawmakers reach home ministry to meet Rajnath Singh.
AIADMK MPs meet Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to lift Jallikattu ban.— AIADMK (@AIADMKOfficial) January 20, 2017
11:25am: AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted in support of Jallikattu on Friday, calling the Jallikattu ban “a lesson for Hindutva forces”.
He linked the Tamil Nadu protests to the Uniform Civil Code and said the code “cannot be imposed... This nation cannot have one culture, we celebrate all”.
11:20am: Stalin is released after being held in preventive custody as DMK workers clashed with police at Mambalam station in Chennai.
11:05am: DMK’s working president (Stalin) requested the state govt for an all party meeting on the issue for demanding enactment of emergency law for Jallikattu, says Rajya Sabha MP Kanimozhi.
10:55am: SC agrees to delay its verdict on Jallikattu for a week after Centre says this will help avoid unrest.
Rohatgi mentioned the matter before a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and R Banumati that people of Tamil Nadu are “passionate” about Jallikattu and the Central government and the state are trying to resolve the issue.
Rohatgi mentioned the matter before a Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar.
10:35am: Pon Radhakrishnan, Thamizhisai Soundarrajan reach environment minister Anil Dave’s residence in Delhi.
10:25am: DMK’s MK Stalin taken into preventative custody after halting a train while protesting in Mambalam station in Chennai.
Following protests, Southern Railway announced full and partial cancellation of some trains, besides diversion of others.
Railway minister Suresh Prabhu asked the protestors not to cause inconvenience to the poor. “Rail is preferred mode of transport for poor, common people. Please don’t disrupt traffic, cause inconvenience to those who can’t afford other,” he said in a tweet.
10:15am: Prevention of animal cruelty act also taken into account, it will take a day or two, says attorney general Mukul Rohatgi, referring to the Jallikattu ordinance.
10:10am: The government should keep an eye on PETA because they are interfering in our traditions, Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan tells ANI, adding that he will meet environment minister Anil Dave and Rajnath Singh.
10:05am: TV reports say the Tamil Nadu government has proposed to amend the animal cruelty act.
9:30am: DMK workers breach the barricades in Mambalam while protesting in support of Jallikattu. Party’s working president MK Stalin too joins the protest in Mambalam: ANI
9:20am: The state government exercised considerable pressure on the Centre to ensure that the home ministry passes the ordinance quickly, sources in the AIADMK tell HT.
After the draft ordinance is vetted by the ministry, it will then be delivered to President Pranab Mukherjee who will have to approve it for the Tamil Nadu governor Vidyasagar Rao to officially promulgate it.
9am: Even after Tamil Nadu CM’s assurance, protesters at Marina Beach in Chennai say they will only call of the agitation after a formal order is received revoking the Jallikattu ban: TV reports
8:30am: CM Panneerselvam says he has spoken to legal experts and Tamil Nadu has readied an ordinance to bypass Jallikattu ban... We will revoke the ban on Jallikattu with the ordinance. “The Centre has assured its support.”
“A draft ordinance is ready, and has been sent to the home ministry. I believe the draft would be approved in 1-2 days, which will pave way for Jallikattu... I request all protesters to call off their demonstration.”
“There is a high chance Jallikattu will be held in the next 1-2 days.”
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India had said on Thursday that it may take the legal route if the Centre brings an ordinance to enable Jallikattu.
8:20am: AIADMK lawmakers will meet home minister Rajnath Singh at noon on Friday to discuss the Jallikattu ban, TV reports say.
A day before, Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam had appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for an ordinance on Jallikattu. Modi, however, remained non-committal on the contentious issue, saying the matter was in the Supreme Court.
8:15am: Tamil Nadu opposition DMK leader and MP Kanimozhi will hold a ‘rail roko’ protest at Chennai Egmore railway station in support of Jallikattu on Friday, ANI reports.
8am: Members of South Indian Artists association, Nadigar Sangam, ask media to not cover their silent protest against Jallikattu and “focus on the youth at Marina beach”.
7:45am: Protests continue at Chennai’s Marina Beach. Schools across Tamil Nadu to remain closed for the day.
(With inputs from agencies)