Members of Punjab’s bullock cart foundation Wednesday staged a dharna against the ban imposed by the Supreme Court on bull fights and races. The protesters, who gathered at the Deputy Commissioner’s office in Ludhiana, said that bullock cart races were a part of the rural culture of Punjab and should be allowed to continue.
All this came a week before the Kila Raipur games, which are popular for bullock cart races.
The members reasoned that as every game entails risks but is allowed after exercising precautions, the same should hold true for bullock cart races.
A memorandum was presented by the protesters to DC Rajat Aggarwal, which will be sent to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. The members also raised slogans against Union Minister Maneka Gandhi; Sandeep Jain, a member of the animal welfare board of India; and even cricketer Virat Kohli, who is a PETA member.
Upinder Singh, one of the bull owners, said, “Bullock cart races should be given a relief as we rear our animals like our children and take good care of them. We had won our case in the High Court and later no one even called us for any hearing in the Supreme Court.”
SAD MLA Manpreet Singh Ayali, who submitted the memorandum to the DC, said, “The Punjab government will take up the matter with the Centre. We will help them in getting the stay over bullock cart races vacated and in organising the races as per the guidelines issued by the Animal Husbandry department so as to ensure that there is no cruelty inflicted on animals during these races.” The games will be held from February 5-7.
Ludhiana MP and convenor of PPCC Ravneet Singh Bittu said, “Maneka Gandhi should first talk about the menace caused by stray animals rather than just bull races, which are a source of employment for many”.
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