College students join protest for jallikattu in Vellore

Say they will not relent till the ban on the traditional sport is revoked

Published - January 19, 2017 12:57 am IST - VELLORE:

POPULAR SURGE: College students protesting at the old bus stand in support of jallikattu in Vellore on Wednesday.

POPULAR SURGE: College students protesting at the old bus stand in support of jallikattu in Vellore on Wednesday.

On any other day, the Old Bus Stand on Anna Salai here would have bustled with blaring horns of buses and commuters trooping into the premises. But on Wednesday, hundreds of students took over the space voicing their support for “jallikattu” and a group of them decided to begin an indefinite protest demanding that the ban on “jallikattu” be lifted. They carried placards opposing PETA and demanded that the traditional sport of Tamil Nadu be allowed to be held.

The protests across the district gathered steam, with students of a number of institutions skipping classes and staging demonstrations in Gudiyatham, Vaniyambadi, Tirupattur, Walajah, and Arakkonam to show their solidarity. Advocates too joined the protests at a few places.

A young woman, who took part in the protest at the Old Bus Stand, said: “Jallikattu is being conducted for more than 2,000 years in Tamil Nadu. It is part of our culture and tradition, and why should it be banned now?”

Social media campaign

Another student said they were mobilising more people from their college to take part in the protest. “We came here after seeing messages on social media,” she added. As the crowd started to swell at the bus stand, police presence was strengthened on Anna Salai to maintain vigil and manage the crowd. Traffic moved at snail’s pace on Katpadi Road and Anna Salai as students started to assemble at the terminus. A few students and other supporters arrived at the protest venue in a motorcycle rally.

Another pro-jallikattu protester said that a section of them had decided to stage an indefinite protest at the Old Bus Stand. “We are going to remain here till the ban is lifted. As of now, around 500 of us are planning to stay here through the night,” he said. A few protesters staged a rail roko at the Vellore Cantonment Railway Station.

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