Almost 200 people were arrested for protesting the Supreme Court’s ban on Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai district. The protest took place in Alanganallur and lasted overnight.
On Monday, thousands of people, especially the youngsters from across Tamil Nadu gathered at the village and continued their protest throughout the day.
The mass protests demanding that the bull taming festival were staged in different parts of the state including Salem, Tiruchi, Namakkal, Sivaganga and Tiruvannamalai districts.
The Superintend of police in Madurai said, “Around 200 people have been taken into preventive custody. They had assembled unlawfully, despite several warnings by the police. They will be released soon.”
The Madurai rural police set up check posts along all the roads leading to Alanganallur to prevent protesters from entering the village. Despite the security, a large number of youths managed to enter by crossing the interior roads along with other villages or walking through the fields.
Earlier in the day, police allowed a few temple bulls to be brought near the Jallikattu arena where the traditional sport was held on the second day after Pongal. One of the bulls let loose amidst the crowd and police had a tough time to control the bull.
At the time, about 1,000 people from nearby Pudupatti village took out a procession with two Jallikattu bulls towards Alanganallur. Later, a large group of youngsters joined them.
The protesters insisted on bringing the bulls to the crowded arena. To prevent them, police started lathicharge in which 10 people were injured.
The Supreme Court imposed a ban on the bull taming sport, Jallikattu. Animal rights activists had appealed against the century-old tradition citing animal welfare issues. Rudra Krishna, advocate and animal right activists stated, “You basically see bulls having tails bitten, being stabbed with sickles, agitated, stuff rubbed into their eyes with twenty people jumping on him.”
DMK Working President MK Stalin criticised the PETA on the Jallikattu issue. He said, “Centre should immediately ban the international NGO PETA which is against our culture and is anti-national.” He also suggested replacing the Animal Welfare Board of India with another body with more Tamil representation in it. In reply, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) said Stallin’s criticism was “cheap and ineffective”.