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No Jallikattu during Pongal, ban to continue: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the ban will continue on the bull-taming festival Jallikattu. The order came on the festival organisers’ petition who sought apex court’s permission to hold Jallikattu during Pongal on January 14, 15 and 16.

Jallikattu

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court had ruled that the bull-taming festival would not be celebrated in Tamil Nadu this year. Hearing a bunch of petitions against the government order, the apex court stayed the Centre’s notification allowing Jallikattu.

The apex court’s decision has also sparked protests in several parts of Tamil Nadu. Protesters have tonsured their heads protesting against the order. AIADMK cadres, bull tamers and villagers in Madurai are staging a fast too.

The Animal Welfare Board had filed a plea in the Supreme Court against the comeback of Jallikattu.

By fixing the next hearing for March, the court effectively ensured that the sport cannot be held this year – it’s usually held to celebrate the winter harvest.
State elections in Tamil Nadu are due later this year, and all parties have been urging the Centre to sanction the sport. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, who, like other politicians, had lobbied heavily for the event to be allowed, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to use an executive order or ordinance to allow the sport to be held. DMK leader M Karunanidhi also issued a similar appeal to the prime minister.

“A lot of safeguards are in place and the event must be allowed,” the Tamil Nadu government argued in the top court, adding that the sport “has been in vogue for centuries”. The Centre said that animal rights activists have “no fundamental right” to challenge the sport. The Supreme Court will hear the matter next on March 15. The four-year-old ban on holding of Jallikattu was lifted on January 8 by the Modi government in poll-bound Tamil Nadu with certain restrictions.

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