Two people died and some 27 people, including a police inspector, were injured in the jallikattu events that were held in Tamil Nadu on Monday, 16 January.
Ahead of Pongal season, jallikattu events have been conducted in Madurai’s Palamedu, Tiruchy’s Suriyur, and in Sivagangai districts.
Death and dismay
In Palamedu, 24-year-old R Aravindraj was injured while taming a bull during the fourth round. He was immediately rushed to Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai.
However, due to heavy bleeding, he succumbed to his injuries and was declared brought dead by the doctors.
Till the fourth round, Aravind had secured third place by taming nine bulls.
In Suriyur, 25-year-old M Aravind, a spectator of the event, hailing from Pudukkottai, was gored to death by a bull.
Chief Minister MK Stalin condoled the deaths and announced a solatium of ₹3 lakh to the kin of the deceased.
The jallikattu events
In Palamedu, the sport was flagged off by Minister of Commercial Taxes, Registration, and Stamp Law P Moorthy and nearly 800 bulls participated in the event. Over 400 tamers were allowed into the arena.
In Suriyur, 700 bulls participated in the event and 300 tamers were allowed in the arena to tame the bulls.
Prizes including cars, bikes, gold coins, refrigerators, and other home appliances were given as gifts to the best tamers and bull owners.
Also Read: Temple bull raised by Dalits not allowed in Palamedu Jallikattu
Elaborate arrangements were made following the directions of the Madras High Court for the safety of the bulls, tamers, and spectators.
Seven medical teams were stationed at the jallikattu arenas and five veterinary teams, including two animal ambulances, were kept on standby for treating any injured tamers and bulls.
The winners and participants
At the end of nine rounds, Tamilarasan was declared the winner in Palamedu for taming 23 bulls and he was gifted a car. The best bull was awarded to Tirunelveli Karupannasamy temple’s bull.
Bulls raised by late chief minister J Jayalalithaa’s aide VK Sasikala, as well as former AIADMK ministers Sellur K Raju and C Vijayabaskar also participated in the events.
Nearly 10,000 spectators witnessed the Palamedu jallikattu event and over 5,000 police personnel provided protection at the event.
Elaborate arrangements are being made for tomorrow’s jallikattu event that is scheduled to be held at Alanganallur. The chief minister is expected to participate in the event.
Related: SC reserves verdict on TN law allowing jallikattu
Case in the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court on 8 December reserved its judgement on a batch of petitions challenging a Tamil Nadu law allowing the bull-taming sport jallikattu, which asserted that instead of preventing animal cruelty, they perpetuate it.
Reserving the order after hearing arguments over eight days, a five-judge Constitution bench comprising Justice KM Joseph, Justice Ajay Rastogi, Justice Aniruddha Bose, Justice Hrishikesh Roy, and Justice C.T. Ravikumar said, “Parties are free to submit their collective arguments within a period of one week from today.”
The core issue that the bench flagged in the course of the hearing was whether a law can be held bad merely because its implementation at the ground level was flawed and failed to address the issue of cruelty to bulls.
At one point during the hearing, the court even asked whether the amended Tamil Nadu law was unimplementable at the ground level.
While Tamil Nadu hammered on the point that a law cannot be interfered with merely because its implementation on the ground was not satisfactory, the petitioners challenging the law said it was not the language of the law that alone had to be taken into account but its effect on the ground.
The hearing saw Tamil Nadu defending an amendment to its laws to permit jallikattu, telling the court that it had brought in a legal regime that ensured that no unnecessary cruelty was inflicted on the bulls in the course of jallikattu events.
It said that it had brought in provisions to punish the violations of the safeguards in the conduct of Jallikattu.
Tamil Nadu permitted jallikattu by amending its law in 2017, giving it a shield of being rooted in the tradition and culture of the people.