SC’s stay on Jallikattu ahead of Pongal sparks protests in TN

  • KV Lakshmana, Hindustan Times, Chennai
  • Updated: Jan 13, 2016 09:05 IST
People protesting near Madurai on Tuesday against the Supreme Court order banning Jallikattu, the bull-taming sport. (PTI)

Tamil Nadu erupted in protests on Tuesday over the Supreme Court’s decision, staying permission given to Jallikattu, two days ahead of Pongal.

If protesters at Palamedu near Tiruchi tonsured their heads in protest against the Supreme Court order staying the Union government notification, people hoisted black flags atop their houses to register their resentment. The scene was played out in several parts of rural southern Tamil Nadu where the bull-taming sport is organised in a big way to mark Pongal, the harvest festival.

Vociferous protests and strong statements to defy the court orders came from Jallikattu organisers in villages.

Four people tried to immolate themselves in a village in Tiruvannamlai district while several women rolled on the streets to express their anger.

People express their disappointments at Avaniyapuram in Madurai as Jallikattu preparations were stopped after Supreme Court order banning Jallikattu on Tuesday. (PTI)

Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa led the political class in expressing strong disappointment and the deficiency of the Centre in handling the situation.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jayalalithaa reiterated her earlier request to the Centre to promulgate an ordinance to enable Jallikattu, which she said was a part of traditional festivities ingrained in the cultural heritage of Tamil Nadu.

“I had written to you on December 22, 2015, requesting you to arrange for the promulgation of an ordinance to enable the holding of Jallikattu,” Jayalalithaa said, adding the Centre instead issued a notification that now has been stayed by the Supreme Court. She urged Modi to ensure that sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu are respected.

PMK chief S Ramadoss held both the Centre and the state government responsible for the ban.

However, animal rights activists welcomed the decision as a step in the right direction.

Ban on Bulbul fight in Assam

The Gauhati high court on Tuesday issued a ban on conducting the Bulbul bird fight at the Hayagrib Madhab temple in Kamrup district of the state. The sport is held every year during the Magh Bihu festival. On Makar Sankranti, devotees gather in the temple premises to see the popular sport.

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