TIRUNELVELI: The protest organised in support of jallikattu at VOC Ground in Palayamkottai swelled on Thursday with more than 6,000 students participating in the agitation.
Though the Department of Higher Education instructed college principals to take a call on declaring holiday, the announcement never dampened the spirit of the students, who boycotted classes and joined the protesters.
Students of Rani Anna Government College for Women staged a dharna on the college premises, and left the college to join the ongoing protest at VOC Ground. They raised slogans against the Centre and People for the Ethical treatment of Animals. Later, the college declared holiday on Thursday and Friday.
While the students of Government College of Engineering joined the agitation, those from MDT Hindu College walked down 8 km from the college to join the protesters at VOC Ground. The students of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University staged a dharna at the main entrance of the university.
The ongoing hunger strike by students at Sankarankovil entered the second day on Thursday even as more protesters joined them.
The students of Ambai Arts College and a private college near Tenkasi also abstained from classes and staged a demonstration.
A few hoteliers sponsored lunch to the protesters while drinking water packets, tea and snacks were supplied by some others.
The protest has demolished the virtual wall between youths of different communities which could not be seen before in the district.
The protesters ensured decorum even in raising slogans against the Centre or PETA, and kept the protest venue clean.
On Thursday, several elders too participated in agitation.
Over 7,000 students of different colleges, including Government Engineering College in Konam, continued their agitation in front of Anna Stadium in Nagercoil on Thursday.
Students, including girls, from different parts of the district reached the protest venue in large numbers. Student-volunteers prevented the crowd from spilling on to the roads.
The public joined the protest for a few hours to show their solidarity with the protesters.
Political party cadres, who reached the venue to show their support, were sent back by the students. The protesters asked them to come in normal dress and not in party-coloured dhoties.
A large number of students from several educational institutions boycotted classes and joined the protest rallies taken out at several locations in Thoothukudi district for the second day on Thursday.
Police sources said protests were organised at 15 locations, including SAV School ground in Thoothukudi and near Travellers’ Bungalow in Kovilpatti.