Protest in TN against 'jallikattu' cancellation

The ''jallikattu'' (bull-taming) sporting controversy came to the fore once again in Tamil Nadu after the Pudukottai district collector rejected a local organising committee’s plea to hold the event on Sunday, sparking protests by villagers.

The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court is yet to pass final orders on petitions challenging the July 2011 Union Environment Ministry’s notification “prohibiting use of bulls as performing animals”.

However, the bench had granted an interim nod to hold the event this year under strict compliance of the Supreme Court and High Court guidelines.

The local organising committee led by one Kullappan alias Senthil Kumar is learnt to have moved the High Court’s Madurai bench seeking permission to hold the sport on Sunday at Thirunallur as part of the Goddess Mari Amman Temple festival there.

The bench on February 10 asked the organisers to approach the Pudukottai collector and had directed the latter to pass “suitable orders” on their application after verification of safety and security arrangements made for the  event.

Official sources said an official committee, including the district SP who inspected the ‘jallikattu’ venue at Thirunallur, found that the apex court guidelines, including erecting an 8-feet high double barricading, were not complied.

The committee, therefore, did not recommend holding of ‘jallikattu’ at Thirunallur on the basis of which Collector B Maheswari “rejected” the organisers application for the event, sources said. This, however, touched a raw nerve among the local villagers who protested on the streets against the district authorities denying them permission to hold the event on Sunday after “all preparations had been made”.

“With great difficulty we got the High Court’s nod to hold the event this year in our district, but with the district authorities disallowing it, we now plan to move the court again against them for contempt of court proceedings,” a member of the village panel said.

However, official sources countered that the collector’s decision was perfectly in legal order.

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