Jallikattu protest engulfs Tamil Nadu, CM Panneerselvam to meet PM Narendra Modi

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Protestors on Tamil Nadu roads raise demand to save Jallikattu
Protestors on Tamil Nadu roads raise demand to save Jallikattu

Chennai : Massive state wide protests are being held with demands to give green signal to Jallikattu - the bull-taming sport - and ban animal rights group PETA. Chief Minister O Panneerselvam will be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the same.

In a statement issued here Panneerselvam said he would be going to Delhi on Thursday to meet Modi and urge him to issue an ordinance enabling the conduct of jallikattu.

Assuring the agitating students and youth that his government would take all steps for holding the traditional sport, he requested them to end their protest.

Hundreds of college students and other youth sat throughout the night at Marina Beach here pressing their demands as talks with two state ministers failed on Tuesday night.

Despite police disconnecting the power supply at Marina Beach, the protest continued with mobile phone lights in the night.

The protesters got their boost with popular actor Vijay lending his support by saluting them.

"Law was not created to rob people off their tradition and rights but to protect it. Jallikattu is every Tamilian's identity. Those who are protesting against the ban on Jallikattu are united by the feeling that they are Tamilians but not out of compulsion or political pressure. I bow down to each and everyone of them," Vijay said in a video message.

"I'd be really happy if those arrested are released immediately," he said.

Actor Suriya, in between his promotional tour for upcoming Tamil action "C3", lashed out at animal rights advocacy group PETA, which is aggressively campaigning against Jallikattu.

Actor G. V. Prakash, singer-lyricist Arunraja Kamaraj and filmmaker Karthik Subbaraj joined supporters on ground on Tuesday.

While Prakash and Arunraja are observing silent protest at Marina beach here, Karthik is leading the crowd in Madurai.

In Jallikattu, a bull vaulter is expected to hang on to the animal's hump for a stipulated distance or hold on to the hump for a minimum of three jumps made by the bull.

The sport is traditionally held as part of the four-day Pongal festival in the state.

The Supreme Court in May 2014 banned the conduct of Jallikattu.

The court also held that bulls cannot be used as performing animals either for Jallikattu events or for bullock-cart races in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country.

Ever since the ban, people have been demanding the central government take necessary steps to allow the conduct of the sport.

(Provided by IANS)