At least 4,000 protesters, mostly students, continued their demand for the removal of the ban on Jallikattu – Tamil Nadu’s traditional bull taming sport – at Chennai’s Marina Beach on Wednesday.
The protestors at the beach converged on Tuesday following an agitation at Alanganallur in Madurai, the epicentre of the current wave of protests. They are also seeking a ban on animal rights body People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
However, the Madras High Court said that it will not “interfere” with the protests.
The protesters at Marina Beach say they want Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to speak to them and then put pressure on the centre to permit Jallikattu, banned by the Supreme Court, through an ordinance or executive order.
The protests have so far been peaceful but there are worries about such a large gathering in the heart of Chennai. The police have tried to get the crowd to disperse, but to no avail.
Tamil Nadu ministers Jayakumar and Ma Foi Pandiarajan met the protesters and assured them that the government agrees with them and will approach the centre to seek an ordinance. The chief minister is seeking legal options, the government has 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 against the arrest of those in Alanganallur in Marina beach here, Karthik is leading the crowd in Madurai.
On Monday, thousands of youths who started their protest in Alanganallur in Madurai district against a Supreme court ban on the bull-taming sport, were taken into custody by the police on Tuesday as the protest extended overnight.
Several college students bunked classes to be at the protest venue with numbers swelling as the day progressed. Film actor Raghava Lawrence was the latest Kollywood representative to express support when he joined the demonstration opposite the Ice House on Kamarajar Salai.
Traffic came to a standstill on the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) in Chennai when the students of the Sathyabama University staged a pro-jallikattu protest. Protests were happening other parts of the city too.