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Four fined for conducting ‘Vanga Nari jallikattu’ in Salem

January 24, 2023 07:40 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:15 am IST - Salem

The Forest Department on Tuesday fined four villagers for capturing and conducting ‘Vanga Nari’ (fox) jallikattu, despite a ban, during Pongal in the district.

On the eve of Pongal, villagers from Vazhapadi and nearby villages capture a fox from the forest, bring it to the local Mariamman temple, and make the animal circle the temple by tying a rope around its leg. The villagers will worship the fox before releasing it into the forest. This custom was followed by the villagers for centuries, and they believe the ‘Vanga Nari’ jallikattu would protect their village.

Before Pongal, the Forest Department created awareness among the villagers that foxes are a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act and should not be captured. Despite the department’s warning, the villagers of Kottavadi, Thamaiyanur, C.N. Palayam, and Ranganur captured the fox from the forest, conducted jallikattu, and released the animal in to the forest last week.

On information, the Forest Department gathered video and photo clips of the jallikattu and identified the persons who captured the foxes. A case was registered against 12 persons from these villages under Section 9 (prohibition of hunting) of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972, and a fine of ₹ 3.90 lakh was imposed on them.

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