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Updated: January 28, 2012 14:22 IST

Setting a good precedent

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Asra Garg, Superintendent of Police, Madurai addressing the tamers about the guidelines and rules that they have to follow during Jallikattu event held at Palamedu recently.
Photo: D. Karthikeyan Asra Garg, Superintendent of Police, Madurai addressing the tamers about the guidelines and rules that they have to follow during Jallikattu event held at Palamedu recently.

The recently held jallikattu events have proved that the police deserve kudos for the strict implementation of various guidelines, says D. Karthikeyan

One of the major highlights of the recently held Jallikattu events at Avaniapuram, Palamedu and Alanganallur was the way in which the whole event was organised and conducted without any fatality.

A peep into the recent history of jallikattu events and related statistical details would tell us that death and gruesome injuries have always been a common feature. Unfortunately most of them who died during these events were spectators and onlookers or unregistered tamers who enter the arena with a hankering to participate in the event.

In the past one could witness scenes of spectators entering the arena trying to play with the bulls or chasing them which either resulted in the bulls running amok and injuring the passerby out of fear. But this time due to strict policing the crowd had no chance to mingle with the tamers.

Asra Garg, Superintendent of Police who led from the front made it clear that the policemen posted on duty should have a firsthand knowledge of the event, spot and the minutiae of the security arrangements needed for the sport. They gathered information about the previously held events and made a study on the possible loopholes.

He told The Hindu that the policemen were asked to visit the spot the previous day and report to the SP and ADSP whether there was any need for extra force and gear to combat an uneasy situation.

Police authorities also found that the collection point was vulnerable as huge crowds had gathered there and were found chasing the bulls resulting in injuries to the onlookers. After getting to know this, the SP stopped the event for a few minutes at Palamedu and strengthened the number of police men at the collection point and the same was followed next day in Alanganallur thus drastically reducing the list of injured.

Superintendent of Police Asra Garg never hesitated to highlight the guidelines to the bull tamers and audience at regular intervals over the public address system. Strict implementation of the guidelines by the authorities which was supplemented by double barricading prevented spectators mingling with tamers.

Whenever there was a scuffle among bull tamers, police personnel intervened swiftly and brought the situation under control. They were also quick to evict contestants who were found violating norms such as hitting the bull or pulling its tail.

Parking spaces were earmarked and information was passed on via the media, galleries meant for foreigners was also kept unoccupied by others and even the organisers were not allowed to override the district administration and police.

This year's conduct of jallikattu could remain as a better precedent for the event in the coming years and the administration can always take a leaf out of this book and prepare and execute an event with minimal injuries.

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