Madurai

A tame affair at Avaniapuram

The clasp: A bull being tamed by a youth at the jallikattu in Avaniapuram on Sunday.

The clasp: A bull being tamed by a youth at the jallikattu in Avaniapuram on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

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The jallikattu was largely incident-free, barring minor injuries to bull tamers, handlers and public

The jallikattu at Avaniapuram in Madurai district on Sunday, the day of Pongal, was largely incident-free, barring minor injuries to around 80 bull tamers, handlers and public.

The event witnessed relatively a lesser crowd compared to the unprecedented crowd of last year, when Avaniapuram became the first major venue to hold jallikattu after the historic State-wide protests that resulted in lifting the ban on the sport.

Of the 954 bulls registered for the event, only 704 were brought for the event, of which 61 were refused entry by medical teams from the Department of Animal Husbandry for not being fit enough.

Moreover, officials said that only around 430 bulls entered the arena owing to paucity of time despite the district administration allowing an extension of one hour from the scheduled finish time of 3 p.m.

The event was inaugurated at 8 a.m in the presence of Minister for Cooperation Sellur K. Raju, Revenue Minister R.B. Udhayakumar and senior revenue and police officials.

Collector K. Veera Raghava Rao administered a pledge to the bull tamers and organising committee members, assuring to strictly adhere to all the safety guidelines.

Players were allowed in batches of 75 or 100 on a rotational basis with different colours of t-shirts for different batches, which helped in reducing congestion at the arena.

Of the 576 bull tamers who turned up, 97 were rejected by the medical teams and the remaining 479 participated in the event.

Apart from barricades erected with casuarina poles, another level of iron barricades were also erected this time at the play area to avoid collapse of the barricades.

Though a few bulls returned to the arena after exiting, resulting in two bulls being at the arena at the same time, it did not result in any injuries to the bulls or the tamers, officials said.

The winners

The best bull tamers and bulls that took part in the event were presented trophies and certificates by Health and Family Welfare Minister C. Vijaya Baskar.

Manikanda Prabhu alias ‘Mudakathan’ Mani, who managed to control eight bulls, was adjudged the best bull tamer. Mr. Mani, a regular to jallikattu events, won awards at last year jallikattu events also.

Elaborate arrangements, including deployment of around 600 police personnel, medical teams, ambulances and fire tenders, had been made for the event.

Members of Animal Welfare Board of India monitored the proceedings.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2020 6:01:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/a-tame-affair-at-avaniapuram/article22447021.ece

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