PETA activist from Mumbai files petition in Madras High Court Bench

A Mumbai-based People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) activist has filed a petition in the Madras High Court Bench here seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against the organisers of jallikattu in Madurai, Dindigul, Tiruchi and Salem districts for violating guidelines of the Supreme Court and the Madras High Court.

Dr. Manilal Valliyate, Director of veterinary affairs for PETA from Mumbai, claimed in his petition that a team of animal rights activists authorised by the Animal Welfare Board of India inspected and documented the conduct of jallikattu at Avaniapuram, Palamedu and Alanganallur in Madurai district, Periya Suriyur and Avarankadu in Tiruchi district, Neikkarapatti in Dindigul district and Koolamedu in Salem district from January 14 to January 17.

According to the petitioner, the activists submitted a report to the secretary of the Animal Welfare Board on January 23 stating that the organisers violated the directives of the Madras High Court and the Supreme Court “deliberately and wilfully.”

The court permitted the organisers to conduct jallikattu only after they gave an undertaking that they will comply with its directive and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

However, the report of the animal rights activists with photographic evidence revealed that the bulls were subjected to cruelty in the waiting area and inside the ‘vadivasal,’ Mr. Valliyate claimed.

The bulls were hit, their tails twisted, and their nose ropes yanked. Bleeding nostrils were seen on few bulls.

Citing a news report published in an English daily on January 19, Mr. Valliyate said a bull was killed during the jallikattu at Kandipatti in Sivaganga.

One of the participants was also killed and many in the audience were injured, he added. Despite the High Court directive that the bull yard should be surrounded by barricades of not less than eight feet in height, the barricades in the seven places did not have proper barricades, he claimed.

At all the seven places, the bulls strayed into residential areas and parking lots, he claimed relying on the photographic evidence.

He pleaded with the court to initiate suo motu contempt proceedings against all the organisers.

The case is likely to be heard by a Division Bench of Justices R. Sudhakar and V.M. Velumani on Tuesday.

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