With the Supreme Court declining to vacate its stay on the Centre’s notification allowing conduct of Jallikattu, protests intensified across Tamil Nadu today against the decision even as the Union government said it cannot bring an ordinance at this stage in this regard. Protests were held in several towns, including Chennai, Madurai, Tiruchirapalli, Pudukottai and Salem.
In Chennai, activists of the ‘May 17 Movement’ and ‘Tamilar Munnetra Padai’ staged demonstrations seeking measures by the Centre to facilitate Jallikattu. In Tiruchirappalli district, a person attempted to set himself ablaze demanding holding of the event. However, police overpowered and removed him from the spot.
Organisers and supporters of the bull taming sport also resorted to road blocks and sections of organisers and participants went on a fast in Alanganallur and Palamedu at Madurai, police said. Many men tonsured their heads in Madurai as a mark of protest seeking permission to hold the sport. Black flags were also hoisted at these places. At Kangeyam near Coimbatore, supporters of the sport said protests would be intensified if permission was not given for the conduct of Jallikattu. “An ordinance cannot be bought now at this stage when the case continues to be in court. However, the state government can do it and if that is done, we will support it,” Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters at Mamallapuram near here on the sidelines of a function. However, Union Minister of State for Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan told reporters at Cuddalore that appropriate measures were being pursued to facilitate conduct of the sport. He also criticised those behind seeking the ban. PMK chief Ramadoss said “people’s expectations on (conducting) Jallikattu should not be banned.”
Meanwhile, DMK president Karunanidhi today disagreed with Congress’ remark that the BJP government was adopting “double standards” as regards banning cow slaughter and supporting Jallikattu.
Asked if the BJP-led government at the Centre was adopting “double standards” over the issue, the former chief minister told reporters “I do not think so.”
On Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s view that Tamil Nadu government could promulgate an ordinance, he said, “this is a legal issue, an opinion could be given only after studying it, nothing can be said in haste.” The DMK chief also made light of Chief Minister Jayalalithaa claim that her party was poised for a massive victory in the upcoming Assembly elections, saying “it is their expectation.”