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SC ban on bull taming defied
TN to file review petition

Arup Chanda
Tribune News Service

Chennai, January 12
The Supreme Court ban on “jallikattu”, the sport to tame wild bulls, has already been defied in a remote village in southern Tamil Nadu and the police today registered a case against the organisers, while the state government has decided to file a review petition in the apex court tomorrow as it is practically impossible for it to implement the order.

With sentiments running high and thousands of people in the 11 districts in southern Tamil Nadu ready with around 2,500 bulls to organise “jallikattu” on the occasion of Pongal, the harvest festival in the state, the ruling DMK is in a quandary.

The state government does not have such a huge police force to prevent thousands of people from taking part in the centuries-old sport and at the same time following the court ruling cannot remain a mere spectator too.

As such, the state government has decided to send a team of legal experts and officials along with reports about the ground reality and attempt to prevail upon the apex court judges to review their directive and issue a fresh one which might allow holding of the popular event with some restrictions.

According to the police, organisers of “jallikattu” in Soorakudi village in Sivaganaga district, 650 km from here, were booked today for violating the Supreme Court ban within hours of it being passed yesterday.

The event in which many bulls from adjoining districts also participated was held yesterday afternoon and winners were also awarded prizes though the organisers had furnished an undertaking to the local police that they would not host “jallikattu”, which means a bagful of money. In fact a bag of money is usually tied on the neck of the wild bulls during the sport.

Organisers of the game felt that their views had not been properly represented before the Division Bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice K.G. Balachandran and the fact that the bulls were not tortured and like in bull fight in Spain the animals were not pierced with sharp weapons and ultimately killed.

They pointed out that following an order by the Madras High Court last year, the game was held and all bulls were examined by veterinary surgeons before the event to ensure that the bovines had not been intoxicated with “arrack”, a local brew to make them more ferocious.

All political parties have also urged the state government to ensure that the Pongal celebrations passed off smoothly and described the court ban as an “affront to Tamil culture and identity”.



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