Madurai

Jallikattu protesters lathi-charged in Avaniyapuram

Villagers of Avaniyapuram take out a rally to protest the jallikattu ban in Madurai on Saturday.

Villagers of Avaniyapuram take out a rally to protest the jallikattu ban in Madurai on Saturday.

The city police resorted to mild lathi-charge at Avaniyapuram in Madurai on Saturday as protests, predominantly by the locals demanding permission to conduct the bull taming event jallikattu, began to go out of control with the arrival of some Kollywood film personalities.

Locals were carrying out protests in since morning in Avaniyapuram, one of the three famous places in Madurai where jallikattu was traditionally held on the day of Pongal, raising slogans against organisations like People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which were instrumental in the Supreme Court banning the event. They were also occasionally accompanied by groups of youngsters, who kept visiting the venue.

Later, Tamil film director V. Gowthaman arrived at the venue to express solidarity with the protesters. He raised provocative slogans against the union government, by referring to the Cauvery issue and claiming that Tamil Nadu and its culture were being targeted on all fronts. He also entered into an argument with the police and objected to their role of police in suppressing the protests for jallikattu and not allowing the sport to happen.

Meanwhile, film director Ameer, music director Yuvan Shankar Raja and actor Arya, who had come to Madurai reportedly to attend an audio-release function, also arrived at the venue to express support for the protest.

However, a section of locals objected to the presence of Arya as he had allegedly made some remarks against jallikattu earlier in social media. Though Ameer tried to pacify them, the locals became more vocal in condemning Arya.

As the situation began to spin out of control, the huge posse of police deployed in the area lathi-charged the protesters including Mr. Gowthaman, who sustained minor injuries, while Arya, Ameer and Yuvan had to leave the venue.

Police sources said that Mr. Gowthaman and around 15 others were detained.

Bulls let out

Meanwhile, police sources said that bulls were let out in the open in an attempt to conduct jallikattu in an interior area in Avaniyapuram and at least two more places in Madurai rural police limits. However, the police were yet to register any cases in this regard.


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Printable version | Jul 5, 2022 10:25:00 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Madurai/jallikattu-protesters-lathi-charged-in-avaniyapuram/article17040130.ece1