Scores of people took to the streets in Chennai today seeking permission to hold the bull-taming sport ‘Jallikattu’, coinciding with the Tamil harvest festival of Pongal, a week away. More than 5000 ‘Jallikattu’ supporters gathered at Marina beach seeking permission for holding it, against which the Supreme Court upheld a ban last year. The volunteers upheld banners and posters and raised slogans against PETA, demanding government to act on their demands.“We don’t do anything to make the bull aggressive, it is their nature,” one of the protestors told ANI. Apart from this, young volunteers – mostly college students – observed a day-long fast seeking urgent measures to address the farmers’ problems in the state following drought in many districts.
People take to the streets in Chennai demanding that the ban on the bull taming sport #jallikattu be lifted pic.twitter.com/FV3w3Qayyf
— ANI (@ANI_news) January 8, 2017
In May 2014, the Supreme Court banned the practice of ‘Jallikattu’ from all performances where the bulls were involved, citing animal welfare issues. The government later on January 8, 2016, passed an order exempting Jallikattu from all performances where bulls cannot be used, effectively reversing the ban. However, on last November, the apex court had dismissed the plea of the state government seeking review of its 2014 judgement banning use of bulls for ‘Jallikattu’ events in the state.
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Political parties including Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) have been pressing the Centre and state government to take steps to hold the sport coinciding with Pongal this year. DMK also staged a demonstration last Tuesday, urging the State and Central governments to take immediate steps to conduct the sport. The call for annulment of ban on the bull taming sport has intensified just days ahead of the Pongal festival.