Jallikattu returns: 19-year spectator dies in Tamil Nadu on day 2 of event, at least 25 injured

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New Delhi | Updated: January 15, 2018 6:32:15 PM

The controversial bull-taming sport Jallikattu returned to headlines this year with yet another tragedy as a 19-year-old spectator died after being mauled by a bull during a Jallikattu event.

 jallikattu, tamil nadu, jallikattu sport in tamil nadu, bull taming sport jallikattu, one die in jallikattu event, madurai in tamil naduThe tragedy took place near the arena where those playing with the bull wrestled with it as part of a custom to celebrate Jallikattu. (File photo: PTI)

The controversial bull-taming sport Jallikattu returned to headlines this year with yet another tragedy as a 19-year-old spectator died after being mauled by a bull during a Jallikattu event in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu. As many as 25 people have also been reported to be injured at the Madurai event. Of them, 19 have been referred to Rajaji Hospital. Among them, one is said to be under critical condition. The deceased, S Kalimuthu was a native of Sanarpatti in Dindigul district and had come to watch the Jallikattu event.

The tragedy took place near the arena where those playing with the bull wrestled with it as part of a custom to celebrate Jallikattu. As many as 458 bulls participated in the event that continued till 3:15 pm.

The bull-taming sport was marred by a fresh round of controversy after Madurai district collector made Aadhaar cards of participants compulsory for registration of bulls. Last year, the sport was organised in the state after an ordinance amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, following massive protests over banning the sport.

Earlier on Sunday, the festival to Pongal was celebrated across Tamil Nadu with traditional fervour along with Jallikattu and a number of other sports pepping up the spirit of the festival. For the Jallikattu held in Avaniapuram in Madurai district, participants were seen wearing colour-coded T shirts for easy identification. Authorities allowed bulls to enter the arena only after a fitness test .

The controversial sport has seen several ups and downs over the past year. Last year, after the Supreme Court passed a judgement saying that the bull should not be permitted for Jallikattu, The Centre permitted the sport by amending list of animals that are prohibited from training for performances, after widespread protests in Tamil Nadu and other states.

Required arrangements were also made under supervision of the District Collector. A number of officials, doctors and paramedics were also deployed apart from ambulances. As per state Revenue Minister R B Udhayakumar, the event was conducted in a peaceful manner and added that no participants or bulls were injured. The state government also conducted the festival in several other parts of the state, where tourists also participated in preparing sweet rice (Pongal) and witnessed cultural events.

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