Collector U. Sagayam has on Thursday announced a list of guidelines for organisers of the popular sport, ‘jallikattu,' a bullfight conducted mostly during the Pongal festival in January.
At a meeting attended by officials from the departments of Police, Revenue, Public Works, Animal Husbandry, Health, Municipal Administration, Fire and Rescue Services, he said that officials had to strictly adhere to the apex court's directive.
According to officials who participated in the meeting, ‘jallikattu' organisers must deposit a minimum of Rs. two lakh which would be used as compensation in the event of the participants either suffering injuries or succumbing to them.
Only those bulls which were registered with the Animal Welfare Board could participate in the ‘jallikattu.' Acts that may irritate the bulls should be avoided. For instance, since sprinkling of chilly powder on tender parts of the bull could harm the animal, it would be treated as a violation. Similarly, when a bull is let into the ring, more than four participants should not be allowed to target the animal as overcrowding would harm it.
The ring should be wide and spacious for the bulls to freely move around. The organisers should ensure that first-aid medical emergencies were at hand within the venue and the Animal Husbandry officials would be made accountable for thesame. For both the bulls and participants, on- the-spot treatment should be available.
Separate timings for each bull had to be scheduled by the organisers. Permitting a group of bulls or all the bulls into the ring at a time would not be allowed. There should be adequate distance between the ring and the spectators' gallery to ensure safety. Double barricade with a height of 10-feet must be erected between the gallery and the ring. The barricades should be strong since the bulls could damage them while running about the ring, resulting in stampede.
A stability certificate on the safety of spectator galleries shall be issued prior to the conduct of the event by the PWD engineers. The capacity of the audience shall be certified by them and it should be adhered to by the organisers.
The physical condition of the bulls participating in the ‘jallikattu' shall be certified by the Animal Husbandry officials. Diagnosis for nicotine, cocaine, if any, on the animals shall be examined prior to the issuance of the certificate. The bull tamers shall register their names with the revenue authorities well in advance and only after medical examination they would be permitted to take part in the event. If it was detected that the players had taken performance enhancement drugs, they would not be allowed to participate in the sport.
A mobile medical team supported by para-medical staff, and essential and life-saving drugs shall be kept ready near the venue. The drugs shall be certified that they were well within the validity date by the Health department authorities and that there were no expired drugs. Emergency ambulance services with trained staff, from government and private parties, shall be kept ready at the venue. The respective local bodies shall ensure that potable water was available in and around the venue. To identify the registered bull tamers, they shall be provided T-shirts and shorts.
The organisers should get adequate police personnel for bandobust. For effective crowd management and regulating the viewers and at the parking space, the organisers shall discuss with the police officers.
Apart from getting permission from the district administration for conducting the ‘jallikattu,' the organisers shall inform three days in advance about the event with the Revenue Divisional Officer concerned. The members of the Animal Welfare Board should be informed and given a vantage position to view the sport from the visitors' gallery. The entire ‘jallikattu' shall be videographed. All the expenses incurred in installation of barricades among others shall be borne by the organisers.
Only after the crowd dispersed from the venue, the bulls shall be handed over to the owners for taking them home. The organisers shall provide adequate space for the bulls and the infrastructural facilities shall be inspected by the local body authorities.
The police shall deploy sufficient number of personnel on bandobust duty taking into account the number of spectators. An executive magistrate shall be part of the police team as it is mandatory.
Officials shall ensure that proper rest was given to the participating bulls. The place earmarked for resting the animals shall be clean. Bulls which return from the ring shall be tested and proper feeding carried out.
The medical team present at the venue shall be in constant touch with the senior officials in the Government Rajaji Hospital. In the event of any emergencies, the victims shall be initially given first-aid and rushed to the hospital.
Apart from providing drinking water at the venue, toilet facilities should also be there. The venue must be sanitised to prevent transmission of diseases. Officials at the municipality, panchayat, village panchayat and town panchayats shall coordinate with the Assistant Director (Panchayats) till the events concluded.
The engineers shall certify the number of persons to be seated in the gallery. The executive engineers of Buildings Maintenance Division falling under Madurai North and Madurai South shall be accountable.
Fire tenders must be stationed at the earmarked space and be ready to render service in case of emergency.
The media shall be informed well in advance about the “jallikattu”. Two officials in the rank of Deputy Collectors shall certify the registration procedure carried out for the bulls and tamers. In the event of non-compliance of the guidelines, the permission shall be rejected by the RDO.
A final report on the conduct of the ‘jallikattu' shall be sent to the Collector supported by videos by the RDO.