The pro-jallikattu protests since last Monday at Alanganallur here, which has remained the focal point of the State-wide protests (apart from Marina), ended with violence as the police used force to evict close to 200 protesters who refused to call off the protest.
Tension had been mounting in the village since morning as a core group of protesters, predominantly activists from other cities who had played a pivotal role in the protests from day one, managed to retain a section of locals, particularly women, to continue the protests with the argument that the State government was betraying them by providing only a ‘temporary’ solution for conducting jallikattu.
Appeals by members of the village jallikattu organising committee in the morning went unheeded with around 200 protesters occupying the main road in the village.
Later, the organising committee met at the temple near the vaadi vasal and decided that the jallikattu will be held on February 1 in coordination with the Madurai district administration.
They also thanked the protesters, who had come from all over Tamil Nadu, for the phenomenal victory and made a final appeal to call off the protests, as per the advice of the police.
As the protesters refused to budge, police announced that the assembly was unlawful and they will be forced to evict them.
Close to noon, the police began forcefully evicting all the protesters from the venue, during which a few were beaten up. Even as the eviction was on with only a group of activists sitting at the centre of the group, the remaining youngsters from the village, including those who had been evicted, began pelting stones from adjacent streets.
At least 10 people, including women protesters and police, suffered minor to multiple injuries in the violence. A few police vehicles were also damaged.