Tamil Nadu

Over 100 injured in Madurai jallikattu events

A youth holds on to a bull during jallikattu at Palamedu in Madurai district on January 15, 2021.   | Photo Credit: R. Ashok

A total of 21 persons were injured in the jallikattu held at Palamedu in Madurai on Friday amid the COVID-19 pandemic. At least 80 participants were injured at Avaniapuram, where the first bull-taming contest of the Pongal season was held on Thursday. 

While eight injured players at Palamedu were referred to the Government Rajaji Hospital, officials said injuries sustained by participants at Avaniapuram were not serious.


At both events, the COVID-19 safety protocols issued by the government were flouted. Officials said separate markings would be made in the spectators’ galleries to ensure physical distancing. At Palamedu, the galleries were packed with spectators. Compliance with physical distancing norms was poor; most of the spectators did not wear masks. There were no arrangements for thermal screening. Villagers thronged the arena along with the players for around 10 minutes after the inauguration. 

Karthick of Karuppayurani was adjudged the best bull tamer and awarded a car. A bull belonging to Jeyaraman of Palamedu was declared the winner. 

A total of 560 bull tamers were screened on Friday morning, of whom 545 were allowed to participate after they were declared medically fit.

An official of the Health Department said none of the players tested positive for COVID-19. Minor scuffles broke out among the players, and the contestants who violated the rules were removed from the arena. The injured persons included 10 bull tamers, six spectators and five bull owners, the official said.


Policemen regulated the crowd at the holding yard to ensure that only two persons accompanied each bull. At the collection yard, hundreds of youth tried to get hold of the bulls that exited the arena at a high speed. Policemen regulated the crowd at the collection point to avoid accidents. 

At Avaniapuram, Thirunavukarasu of Muthupatti and Vijayan of Avaniapuram were adjudged the best bull tamers after they tamed 26 bulls. A bull belonging to G.R. Karthick of Villapuram was adjudged the best.


Congress leader Rahul Gandhi witnessed the event at Avaniapuram together with DMK youth wing leader Udhayanidhi Stalin. The jallikattu, he said, reflected the richness of the tradition of the people in this region and appreciated the large turnout of youth dressed in traditional attire. Since time immemorial, the culture of the Tamils had been widely respected, he said. Mr. Gandhi said he came down to witness the event because the Tamil culture, language and history were essential for India’s future and needed to be respected by everyone in the country.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 4:53:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/over-100-injured-in-madurai-jallikattu-events/article33584382.ece

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