As massive protests over the Supreme Court ban on Jallikattu entered the third day in Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu on Thursday, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi and urged him to bring in an ordinance for the conduct of the popular traditional sport. In response, the Prime Minister said the matter is sub-judice even as he appreciated the cultural significance of the bull-taming sport. He added a central team would be deputed to Tamil Nadu shortly and ‘all possible assistance’ will be extended to address the drought situation in the state.
The Chief Minister had earlier told mediapersons at the airport that he would apprise the Prime Minister of the “sentiments” and “aspirations” attached with the sport. “The (state) government is walking the path of Amma (late Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa). We will take all legal measures till we get justice in the Jallikattu issue,” he said, according to PTI. “We should not construe that the Centre is ignoring Tamil Nadu on this issue,” he added. The ruling AIADMK said a resolution would be passed in the state assembly demanding lifting of the ban on Jallikattu and barring of PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals), which has resisted the conduct of the sport citing cruelty to bulls.
WATCH VIDEO | Jallikattu Row Intensifies, Tamil Nadu CM O Panneerselvam Wants Presidential Ordinance
Despite the Chief Minister’s call to withdraw protests, hundreds more joined the agitation at the Marina in Chennai and trooped into the streets of the city on the day, remaining steadfast in their demand to lift the court ban on the conduct of the popular sport this year. Agitations also continued in various parts of the state, including Alanganallur, the usual hub of the Jallikattu event, with students and people from other walks of life joining the stir. Much of the protests across the state have been planned on social media.
The state government, realising the increasing size of the protests, had requested the protesters to call off the agitation citing the declining law and order situation. The agitation is expected to continue Thursday.
Meanwhile, actors, sports persons and artists came out in strong support of the bull-taming sport calling for cultural traditions of the state to be respected. Chess grandmaster Vishwanathan Anand, actors Vijay, Vishal, lyricist Madhan Karky were among those who have expressed support for Jallikattu.
Other updates below:
# The Madras High Court Advocates Association today announced boycott of the courts tomorrow in support of state wide protests demanding a lifting ban on Jallikattu.
# PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss, who was sitting on dharna outside Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence seeking ordinance on Jallikattu, has been detained by the police.
#Congress leader RS Surjewala reacted to the protests in Tamil Nadu saying the party respects the rights of people in Tamil Nadu to preserve culture and protect the rich traditions of Jallikattu. He said it was the responsibility of the state and the Centre to ensure safety during the conduct of the sport. He was speaking to news agency ANI.
#Meanwhile, the protests are still in full flow at Marina Beach.
# Nikunj Sharma, Government Affairs Liaison of PETA India said in a statement, “PETA India does not make law, we can only respect law, and so targeting PETA India can have no bearing whatsoever on the central government laws which have been prohibiting cruel spectacles like jallikattu, bull races and bullfights for years. Anyone who claims otherwise is being either misleading or demonstrating that they are unaware how laws work.”
It added, “The courts of law in India have time and again held that the use of bulls in performances is and will be illegal under Indian law.We at PETA India shall remain committed to stand up for animals and all creatures that face brutality and cruelty.”