1 spectator killed,11 sportsmen injured in Palamedu jallikattu

A teenaged spectator was gored to death by a bull, while 11 competitors were injured during the bull taming sport 'jallikattu' held at nearby Palamedu on Monday.

Police said, 19-year-old Kalimuthu, who was seated in the front row of the viewers' gallery, suffered fatal stomach injury when the bull suddenly strayed from the arena and attacked him. After first aid at the medical camp at the venue, the youth died on way to Rajaji Government Hospital here.

Barring the tragedy, the event was marked by traditional gaiety and valour with the participation of 1,080 bulls and 1,188 sportsmen, officials said. Tamil Nadu Revenue Minister R B Udhayakumar inaugurated the event. A large number of spectators thronged Palamedu, one of the famous venues for jallikattu in the district along with Alanganallur and Avaniapuram, and cheered the competitors. Attractive prizes, including gold coins, were given away to the winners, who tamed the bulls. One Mani bagged the first prize for taming seven bulls. Similarly, seven bulls which ducked the sportsmen and remained unconquered were also honoured with their owners getting prizes. Amidst tight security, the sport was held in the presence of Animal Welfare Board of India members and other officials.

Genesis

The sport, synonymous with Pongal festivities in this region, returned in its full traditional gaiety after a gap of three seasons. Jallikattu remained banned following a Supreme Court order in May 2014 before the state government last year brought an ordinance to facilitate its conduct at the height of a massive protest held at Marina Beach in Chennai and several places across the state.

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