Two people were killed and 43 others were injured during a jallikattu event in Tamil Nadu’s Viralimalai on Sunday, reports said. The event was organised by the state’s Health Minister C Vijaya Baskar, allegedly to “set a record”, and flagged off by Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, The Hindu reported.
The traditional sport involves a bull charging into an arena where participants attempt to encircle it and grab its hump. The participant who is able to cling on to the animal is declared the winner.
The police said 1,353 bulls were brought to the site of the event, and had around 500 tamers in participation.
The deceased were identified as 32-year-old A Ramu, who was a spectator from Soriampatti, and 35-year-old Sathish, who is believed to have been a bull owner.
Meanwhile, a team from Worldkings – World Records Union in London tagged the event as the largest jallikattu till date, The News Minute reported.
More than 100 people were injured in the sport in Madurai district last week.
Animal rights groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have in the past protested against the sport. The Supreme Court bannedthe sport in 2014. In January 2016, though, yielding to popular pressure, the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Union government published a notification allowing bulls to be used in the sport. Animal rights groups challenged this, prompting the Supreme Court to quash the notification a few days later.
However, the Tamil Nadu government in 2017 passed an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, a central law, allowing jallikattu. This amendment was approved by the president of India and jallikattu events were permitted again.