The event was held on guidelines given by Supreme Court and High Court

Forty-six persons, including five bull tamers, sustained injuries at a ‘jallikattu' held at Karungulam near Manapparai in Tiruchi district on Sunday.

The ‘jallikattu' was held amidst unprecedented security and strict supervision by district officials on the lines of the guidelines given by the Supreme Court and the Madras High Court. The event started at 10 a.m. and lasted about five-and-a-half hours with 346 bulls being let out into the arena one at a time. The ‘jallikattu,' only the second to be held in the district this year, attracted thousands of spectators from Tiruchi and neighbouring districts.

The event held in front of the St. Antony's Church in the village, following the annual Pongal festival, also symbolised the synthesis of the traditional sport with local custom. “The entire event is organised with contributions from Catholics in the village. We had spent about Rs.10 lakh for the event and thankfully it passed off without any untoward incident,” said Enock, former panchayat president and one of the organisers.

Around 370 bulls were registered for the event but 24 of them were rejected on various grounds after screening by special teams of veterinary doctors. Of the nearly, 250 registered bull tamers some were refused permission after medical tests while a few others failed to turn up.

Ultimately, 214 participated in the event, said Collector Jayashree Muralidharan, who along with R. Lalitha Lakshmi, Superintendent of Police, Tiruchi, and K. Sampath, Revenue Divisional Officer, Tiruchi, supervised the event.

Except two youths, one with injuries in the collar bone and other in the thigh, all the others were treated at medical camps set up near the venue. Officials said most of them had sustained abrasions and minor injuries. The two seriously injured youth were referred to the Government Hospital at Manapparai.

While the event itself was well regulated inside the arena with eight-feet high bamboo barricades, many of the injured were those at the overcrowded “collection points” towards the end, where bull owners and spectators had gathered in large numbers. A 13-year-old boy was among the injured in the melee at this spot. A strong contingent of about 420 police personnel were deployed for security.

District officials heaved a sigh of relief as both the ‘jallikattu' events were held without any major mishap.

Permission was granted for ‘jallikattu' in Suriyur, Palakurichi and Karungulam in the district this year. While the ‘jallikattu' at Suriyur was held as part of the Pongal festival, the Palakurichi event was cancelled after the organisers withdrew citing inability to erect barricades and spectator galleries on time.

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