The National Human Rights Commission on Tuesday issued notices regarding the police’s use of force against protestors who were demanding that the ban on bullfighting sport jallikattu be revoked. On Monday, police in Chennai and other parts of the state had reportedly baton-charged several protestors, including ones at Marina Beach. Agitators had been gathered at the beach since early last week. The NHRC sent notices to the state’s chief secretary, director general of police, and Chennai’s commissioner of police.
Questions have been raised regarding police action, especially after a video went viral of police personnel purportedly setting fire to an auto in Tamil Nadu. A state minister had denied that the police used any force against protestors, but Opposition party Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam has also questioned action by security personnel. A massive number of officers had been deployed in Chennai on Monday.
Protests have been on since last week, after the issue came to a boil. Bowing to public pressure, the central and state governments had passed a Bill on Monday, revoking the ban on holding jallikattu for six months. After the ordinance came into effect on Sunday, several districts saw both regulated and unregulated jallikattu events. Two peopled died during the sport in Pudukottai, while one died fasting over the matter in Madurai. Protestors had also prevented Chief Minister O Panneerselvam from entering Madurai district, as they demanded he found a long-term solution to the ban.