Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Friday told the state Assembly that some “elements” had broken the law during the once-peaceful jallikattu protests in the state. “Various organisations, anti-national and anti-social elements had infiltrated the pro-jallikattu protests with the intention of diverting it,” he said, according to PTI.
Panneerselvam even claimed that he had evidence in the form of photographs that protestors had used militant Osama bin Laden’s name and picture during the demonstrations. He assured the Assembly that the “evil forces” behind the violence will be identified and action will be taken against them.
Panneerselvam’s comments came after Opposition leader MK Stalin sought an explanation from the chief minister for the alleged police action on protestors. Panneerselvam said the security personnel had used “minimum force” to control the mob. He defended the police action and said some of the protestors wanted to prolong the demonstrations till Republic Day. “As many as 66 cases were registered in connection with the violence in Chennai and 215 persons were arrested, apart from booking 114 cases regarding road and rail blockade,” said the chief minister, according to The New Indian Express.
The protests in Tamil Nadu, especially at Chennai’s Marina Beach, had taken a violent turn when the police and the agitators clashed. Questions have been raised regarding police action, especially after a video of officers purportedly setting fire to an auto in Tamil Nadu went viral. On January 23, the Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed a Bill, replacing the ordinance on jallikattu revoking the ban on the bull-taming sport by Supreme Court.
Jallikattu in the Supreme Court
The apex court on Friday said it will hear all cases challenging the Tamil Nadu law that revoked the jallikattu ban on January 31. Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi informed the bench that the Centre had filed an interim application seeking to withdraw its notification from January 6, 2016.
The Animal Welfare Board of India and People for Ethical Treatment of Animals had earlier appealed against the Bill that was passed in the Tamil Nadu Assembly revoking the Sipreme Court ban. The bench headed by Justice Dipak Mishra said all applications related to jallikattu, including the one by AWBI, PETA and the Centre, will be heard on Tuesday.
On Friday, an advocate in Tamil Nadu also moved the court, seeking to quash the appeals made by AWBI and PETA. GS Mani argued that the state legislature had the authority to pass an amendment on the law taking people’s wishes into consideration, reportedThe Hindu. The Supreme Court said Mani’s application will also be heard on January 31.