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The seven days of jallikattu protests

Protest for jallikattu at Tamukkam ends

Police chase away 150 protesters who continued to squat in the middle on Alagarkoil Road

January 24, 2017 01:49 am | Updated 01:49 am IST - Madurai:

Supporters of jallikattu staging a demonstration with national flags outside the Tamukkam ground in Madurai on Monday.

Supporters of jallikattu staging a demonstration with national flags outside the Tamukkam ground in Madurai on Monday.

The six-day-long protest seeking conduct of jallikattu at Tamukkam came to an end on Monday night after police chased away some 150 protesters who continued to squat in the middle on Alagarkoil Road though hundreds of others had dispersed in phases.

The crowd started melting in the afternoon after the group of protesters who first started the agitation told the police of withdrawing their protest complaining of anti-social elements intruding into their camp.

"We have confidence in the Ordinance promulgated by the State Government enabling the conduct of Jallikattu and hence we are withdrawing our protest,” said R.P. Chandrabose, a protester.

A youth said that they could not have any control over "anti-social elements who crept into their camp" and hence they wanted to withdraw their peaceful protest.

This group of professionals attracted a huge crowd of students, especially women and children, day after day.

Another protester, S. Jayakumar, thanked the city police for the cooperation extended to the agitators.

However, Mr. Chandrabose said that they would again assemble for another bout of protests if the government did not fulfil their promises of bringing in a permanent solution to the Jallikattu issue.

“Next time, we will be more organised in identifying the people who join us. We will allow only those people with identity cards,” Abi Saravanan said.

Negotiation over 13 hours

Meanwhile, the city police continued their negotiation for more than 13 hours since 7.30 a.m.

At around 7.15 p.m. the organisers announced that they were ready to disperse. But, then the crowd had melted away in significant number.

It all started with the police asking the agitators to vacate one lane of the road to enable free movement of traffic.

“This is the main route taking people from different districts to the Government Rajaji hospital. Blocking the road (between Goripalayam junction and Tamukkam) was causing a major traffic snarl all around the city that has over 15 lakh population,” said Additional Deputy Commissioner Murugesh.

As the students refused to give up, the police forcefully removed the barricades put up to block traffic on the road.

Human blockade

However, the students formed a human blockade not allowing any vehicular movement on the road.

Commissioner of Police Shailesh Kumar Yadav addressed the students and gave them an ultimatum of 30 minutes to discuss and decide on the issue.

Though a section of protesters hurled log and some papers on a group of police personnel who tried to walk towards Nehru Statue, the huge posse of police present at the venue, remained calm and appealed to them to maintain peace.

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