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38 injured at Alanganallur jallikattu

D. Karthikeyan
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Two bulls rescued after they fell into well

display of braveryA youth catches a bull by its horns at the jallikattu in Alanganallur on Wednesday.Photo: S. James
display of braveryA youth catches a bull by its horns at the jallikattu in Alanganallur on Wednesday.Photo: S. James

Two bulls, which were terrified after being chased by onlookers, ran amok at the jallikattu event held at Alanganallur on Wednesday and fell into an open well on an agriculture field.

Fire and Rescue Department personnel rescued the animals. Since the well had ample water, the bulls escaped with minor injuries.

Thirty-eight persons were injured. Twenty-one among them were tamers and others included onlookers and owners.

Bulls that had gathered at the collection point ran helter-skelter after being chased by the spectators. It was almost a ‘mini’ jallikattu complete with chaos and confusion and many were injured.

The event began at 8 a.m. and even before the start Superintendent of Police V. Balakrishnan addressed the bull tamers on the guidelines and warned them to strictly adhere to the stipulations.

Four makeshift watch towers were erected at important points inside the arena and Mr. Balakrishnan monitored the event from the clock tower that was just a few paces ahead of the entry point.

Some of the sturdier bulls showed little mercy as they simply brushed aside the tamers. However, a few brave tamers, with their quick reflexes and speed, matched the bulls and rode them till the stipulated distance. Trained bullfighters from Mudakathan, Koilpappakudi and Alanganallur tamed several bulls and went home with a handful of prizes.

A Sindhi bull owned by a person from Avaniapuram gave a tough time as it spent 20 minutes on the arena testing the tamers’skills.

For the first time, successful tamers and bull owners were given prizes such as refrigerator, LCD television, washing machine and gold chain. Apart from these, bicycles, gold coins, almirah, steel utensils, ceiling fans and dress material were also offered.

A total of 481 bulls were registered for the event, of which 22 were rejected on various grounds, including medical, said P. Rajasekaran, Regional Joint Director, Animal Husbandry. Four hundred and ten bull tamers registered and 40 of them were rejected after medical examination.

Some contestants were evicted for violations such as hitting the bull or pulling its tail.

As part of security arrangements and to prevent any untoward incident, eight closed circuit television cameras were operated.

The gallery for foreign tourists was also full and visitors from France, the UK, Germany and the USA had mixed opinion about the event.

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