The Tamil Nadu Police on Sunday detained scores of people across the state for defying Supreme Court orders and attempting to conduct the banned bull-taming sport, jallikattu, during Pongal festivities, PTI reported. On Saturday, at least 30 people were baton-charged and detained for attempting to organise the event in Madurai. Security personnel were deployed across the state to maintain peace and order.
Officials said people were detained in Mudakathan, Alanganallur, Palamedu and Vilangudi in Madurai district, at Nallampatti in Dindigul district and Pottuchavadi in Thanjavur district for attempting to organise the sport banned by the Supreme Court. In Palamedu and Alanganallur, which are renowned for jallikattu events, shops were shut and black flags hoisted in protest , PTI reported.
On Thursday, the apex court had rejected a plea seeking an early verdict in the case, triggering protests across Tamil Nadu. A group of protesting students were baton-charged on Thursday. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leaders, including MK Stalin and Kanimozhi, on Friday led protests outside the collector’s office in Chennai. Tamil actors Rajinikanth and Kamal Hassan had also extended their support to the banned sport.
On Wednesday, chief of the state’s ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, Sasikala Natarajan, and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pass an ordinance to allow the sport this year.
Jallikattu is traditionally organised as part of the harvest festival of Pongal, which started on Saturday. The Supreme Court has been hearing petitions on the sporting event since it was banned in 2014. On January 10, Union Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave had said the Centre would take a stand on the controversy surrounding the sport only after the Supreme Court pronounces its final verdict.