Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam’s meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday and his subsequent statement that the Centre had assured all help for the conduct of jallikattu failed to have any impact on the protesters in Alanganallur, the focal point of the State-wide jallikattu protests, as they remained resolute not to leave until the sport was conducted.
Pon. Kumar, who has been involved in the protests since Monday, said that the protesters wanted jallikattu to be conducted and were least bothered about the options before the State or the Central government .
“Let them promulgate an ordinance or let the Supreme Court rule in favour of the sport. But we want jallikattu to be conducted. We are not willing to believe in any assurance anymore,” he said.
Pointing to a statement by Mr. Modi that the Centre will be supportive of the steps taken by the State government, Syed Omer Muckthar, a protester from Tiruchi camping at Alanganallur since the first day of the protests, said that the State could allow conduct of jallikattu without waiting for the Supreme Court’s ruling.
“The Prime Minister’s statement could either be intercepted as a nod for Tamil Nadu to suppress the protests by any means or a green signal to conduct the sport. We want to believe that it is the later,” he said.
Meanwhile, the locals have started leading the protests at Alanganallur since Thursday morning, unlike the previous days when outsiders camping in the village remained the face of the protests.
Though the core team of outsiders, who lead the protests throughout Monday and were detained for a day by the police, continued to play a significant role, a minor fissure developed between the locals and a small group of outsiders, who were subsequently asked to leave the village.
“We did not want any individual to dominate the protests. They were trying to do that and that did not go down well with the protesters,” said S. Sivakumar, a protester from Coimbatore.
The size of the protesting group in Alanganallur has remained the same for the past four days though a floating group of protesters from neighbouring villages kept joining the group.