Massive state wide protests by youth in Tamil Nadu against jallikattu ban gains strength

Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar supports Jallikattu, urges to respect sentiments of Tamil Nadu.

Chennai, Jan 18: The massive state wide protests by youth in Tamil Nadu who are demanding holding of Jallikattu — the bull-taming sport — and banning animal rights group PETA, entered second day on Wednesday with protestors holding out throughout the night.

The support for the protesters is growing with the students of SRM University here announcing to demonstrate outside their institution.

Similarly, protests have been gaining strength at several other places in Tamil Nadu.

Lawyers in Namakkal district have announced boycott of courts.

Hundreds of college students and other youth sat throughout the night at Marina Beach here pressing their demands as talks with two state ministers failed on Tuesday night.

The demonstration began on Tuesday morning after the news of the arrest of Jallikattu protesters in Alanganallur town of Madurai district spread here. The protests started on Monday morning in Alanganallur.

Despite police disconnecting the power supply at Marina Beach, the protest continued with mobile phone lights in the night.

DMK party’s Working President and leader of the opposition in Tamil Nadu, M. K. Stalin, urged Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam to meet the protesters and take immediate action for holding the sport.

The protesters got their boost with popular actor Vijay lending his support by saluting them.

“Law was not created to rob people off their tradition and rights but to protect it. Jallikattu is every Tamilian’s identity. Those who are protesting against the ban on Jallikattu are united by the feeling that they are Tamilians but not out of compulsion or political pressure. I bow down to each and everyone of them,” Vijay said in a video message.

“I’d be really happy if those arrested are released immediately,” he said.

Actor Suriya, in between his promotional tour for upcoming Tamil action “C3”, lashed out at animal rights advocacy group PETA, which is aggressively campaigning against Jallikattu.

Actor G. V. Prakash, singer-lyricist Arunraja Kamaraj and filmmaker Karthik Subbaraj joined supporters on ground on Tuesday.

While Prakash and Arunraja are observing silent protest at Marina beach here, Karthik is leading the crowd in Madurai.

Thousands of youth who began their protest in Alanganallur on Monday against a Supreme court ban on the bull-taming sport, were taken into custody by police on Tuesday as the protest extended overnight.

Police housed the protesters — both men and women, who had assembled in the town famous for conducting Jallikattu — in nearby wedding halls.

Angered by the arrests, villagers in Alanganallur came out on the streets.

In Jallikattu, a bull vaulter is expected to hang on to the animal’s hump for a stipulated distance or hold on to the hump for a minimum of three jumps made by the bull.

The sport is traditionally held as part of the four-day Pongal festival in the state.

The Supreme Court in May 2014 banned the conduct of Jallikattu.

The court also held that bulls cannot be used as performing animals either for Jallikattu events or for bullock-cart races in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country.

Ever since the ban, people have been demanding the central government take necessary steps to allow the conduct of the sport.

–IANS

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