SC Stay on Jallikattu: Protests in Tamil Nadu

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Madurai: Demanding permission to conduct Jallikattu, villagers in several parts of the district today staged demonstrations and fast as shops remained closed in prominent bull-taming sport localities.

Police personnel have been posted in strength in areas where some Jallikattu organisers even threatened to organise the sport defying the ban, police said.

In some places, black flags had been hoisted after the Supreme Court today declined to lift its stay on the Centre’s notification allowing the sport, they said.

Five Jallikattu competitors observed a fast in front of the District Collectorate here demanding permission to hold the sport during this Pongal festival.

Shops remained shut in Palamedu, Alanganallur and Avaniapuram, which are famous for the Jallikattu, police said adding road roko agitation was also staged in several places, including Alanganallur.

Police said they were keeping a close watch on the developments and would take severe action if anyone violated the apex court order.

Earlier on Wednesday, last ditch attempts to hold thetraditional bull-taming sport of Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu during the upcoming harvest festival failed today as the Supreme Court refused vacate its order staying the Centre’s notification lifting the ban on the controversial game.

“We are not inclined to vacate the stay,” a bench comprising Justices Dipak Misra and N V Ramana said after hearing the urgently moved pleas of some Tamil Nadu residents and a group called Compassion Unlimited Plus Action.

The bench said it was “unimpressed” by the arguments that Jallikattu should be allowed under the supervision of the court by appointing court commissioners who could submit reports on the event. It said the apex court’s two-judge bench in its judgement in 2014 had discussed various facets of the age-old sport and expressed its opinion that bulls cannot be subjected to cruelty.

“Counsel for the applicant would submit that certain arrangements have already been made and responsible District Collectors have been appointed to supervise Jallikattu, and therefore, the order of stay passed by this Court should be vacated.

Further, the supporters of Jallikattu had submitted that the bulls were trained not to let the youngsters clamber on to their humps. They had also said that Jallikattu was a socio-religious function during Pongal festival and not an entertainment and people at various places in Tamil Nadu had immense faith in it for many a reason.

“Emphasis is laid on the culture of the state and the belief of the pastoral communities. In essence, it is urged that there is no cruelty is meted out to the bulls in such a festival or game,” the bench noted while rejecting the submission.

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