Andhra Pradesh

Cattle festivals turn into jallikattu events in Kuppam area

A poster of a jallikattu event with the image of forest brigand Veerappan at Kanamalapalle village near Kuppam in Chittoor district.

A poster of a jallikattu event with the image of forest brigand Veerappan at Kanamalapalle village near Kuppam in Chittoor district.   | Photo Credit: ByArrangement

Organisers openly publicising events, ‘political pressure on police to remain silent’

Gone are the days when organisers used to be afraid of police in Kuppam area to hold ‘cattle festivals’, which are an inferior version of Tamil Nadu’s jallikattu. Now, the festival is being held on a par with jallikattu at several places in the Kuppam Assembly constituency.

The organisers have announced the jallikattu events and are circulating the information on social media. They have announced cash prizes up to 50th position. According to a pamphlet circulated on WhatsApp, the first prize is ₹60,000 and the 42nd prize is ₹500 at a bull race event scheduled at Balla village of Ramakuppam mandal for January 10. Another event near Kuppam, scheduled for January 16, has set the first prize at ₹1 lakh. A series of jallikattu events (locally termed as Mylaru Panduga) are scheduled at Gudupalle, Ramakuppam, Mittapalle, Kenamakulapalle, Ontipalle and Baireddipalle in the division, between January 7 and 16. The organisers have even mentioned their names, along with sponsors and the mobile numbers.

About 700 bulls would be brought in by farmers and youth not only from the Kuppam area, but also from border villages in T.N. and Karnataka. On an average, the entry fee for each bull is fixed at ₹1,500, making it a big business.

Veerappan’s posters

The Mylaru Panduga organisers at the tri-State junction of Kuppam, which shares borders with the north-western districts of Tamil Nadu, have even gone to the extent of invoking the blessings of the slain forest brigand Veerappan for the success of the events. At Kanapalle village of Gudupalle mandal, the image of Veerappan sporting his rifle on a huge flexi set up beside an inter-State highway, intended as a public invitation for the Mylaru Panduga, remains a cynosure of all eyes.

A senior police official in Kuppam said that “it is next to impossible to control these jallikattu events.” Earlier, the organisers of the milder version of jallikattu (just parading the cattle) used to place repeated requests with the area police for permissions, mostly orally. But this year, the organisers have become emboldened. They are printing pamphlets and circulating them openly, and even putting up public displays. It was observed that the political pressure was unprecedented on the police not to act against the organisers.

On the display of Veerappan’s image for the promotion of jallikattu events, Deputy SP (Palamaner) Areefulla said immediate steps would be taken to remove such publicity material. “It’s a crime to sport the image of the forest brigand who had ruthlessly killed several police personnel,” the Deputy SP said.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 6:32:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/cattle-festivals-turn-into-jallikattu-events-in-kuppam-area/article30497953.ece

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