Opposition parties in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday strongly condemned the police action against supporters of jallikattu in Madurai and elsewhere.
DMK working president and the Leader of the Opposition, M.K. Stalin, who demanded promulgation of an ordinance to facilitate the conduct of the bull-taming sport, met Director General of Police T.K. Rajendran and submitted a petition urging him to rein in police from committing excesses.
He alleged that the protesters, who were fighting democratically for their rights, were surrounded by police and literally bundled away. “The police have already declared Alanganallur as ‘unofficial warzone’, affecting the daily life of people. The students who were pre-emptively arrested should be released immediately. Essential items should be allowed to be taken into Alanganallur,” he said in the petition. The ruling AIADMK, he alleged, has unleashed the police on the protesters and accused the BJP at the Centre of not paying heed to the protests.
“The Centre, which controls all Constitutional bodies, is acting as though the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) is an independent body. The BJP-led Central government has no idea of allowing jallikattu, which is a traditional sport of the Tamil people,” charged Mr. Stalin.
Ban PETA, urges Anbumani
PMK founder Ramadoss compared the Tamil Nadu police’s actions with that of Sri Lankan government during the final stages of the civil war. “The youngsters, including girls, were abused. Water, food and medicines were not allowed inside Alanganallur. Though not in a full-fledged manner, the protesters only asked for the conduct of jallikattu in a symbolic way by letting at least five bulls through the ‘vaadi vasal’. Even that wasn’t allowed,” he charged in a statement.
PMK youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss called for a ban on People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and dissolution of the AWBI as their actions are not beneficial to the society as a whole. “Many of AWBI’s office-bearers are also a part of PETA. The AWBI is favouring only PETA. It is right to call for a ban on PETA and dissolution of AWBI,” he said.
TMC leader G.K Vasan also demanded that all those protesters who were arrested be released immediately. “The Centre and State governments must take appropriate steps to ensure that jallikattu is held before the end of the ‘Thai’ month,” he said.