Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu CM, Deputy CM flag off jallikattu at Alanganallur

total of 84 bulls participated in the first round of the event. Players were allowed in batches of 75 after clearing medical check-up   | Photo Credit: G. Moorthy

Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam flagged off the jallikattu in Alanganallur in Madurai on Saturday morning, amid COVID-19 safety protocols.

A total of 23 persons were injured during the event, with one bull tamer in a critical condition.

An official from the Health Department said 12 bull tamers, five spectators and six bull owners were injured during the event. Among them, 13 persons were referred to the Government Rajaji Hospital (GRH) for further treatment.

A 24-year-old bull tamer, injured near the neck and chest, suffered severe blood loss, and was referred to GRH. Dean J. Sangumani said he was undergoing surgery and was in a critical condition.

The Chief Minister, who flagged off the event around 8.30 a.m., said it was the AIADMK government that ensured that jallikattu events were held, despite several hurdles.

He praised the bull owners and players who participated in the famed Alanganallur jallikattu. Jallikattu is a cultural and traditional sport of Tamil Nadu, said the Deputy Chief Minister. He reiterated that the AIADMK government was taking steps to ensure that jallikattu events are held regularly during the Pongal season.

Mr. Palaniswami and Mr. Panneerselvam gave away gold coins to the winners. Revenue Minister R.B. Udhayakumar, Cooperation Minister Sellur K. Raju, Forest Minister Dindigul C. Sreenivasan and AIADMK MLAs were present during the inauguration.

Kannan, a bull tamer from Virattipathu, who caught 12 bulls, was adjudged the best tamer and awarded a car. A bull belonging to Santhosh from Kuruvithurai was adjudged the best bull. Mr. Santhosh, too, was awarded a car.

A total of 719 bulls participated in eight rounds of the event. Joint director of Animal Husbandry R. Rajathilagam said one bull fell into a small pit after the event and was rescued and treated by the officials. Bull tamers were allowed to participate in batches of 75 after clearing medical check ups. RT-PCR tests were conducted on all bull owners and players, and only those testing negative were allowed to take part.

Spectators thronged the galleries, from the wee hours of Saturday. Despite repeated instructions from organising committee members asking spectators to wear face masks, many were seen not wearing them. Physical distancing norms were also violated in the galleries.

During the event, members of the Indian Red Cross Society faced difficulties providing timely first aid to injured bull tamers, as members of the jallikattu organising committee were continuously releasing bulls into the arena.

A bull tamer held a placard during the event, opposing the farm laws.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2021 2:19:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tamil-nadu-cm-deputy-cm-flag-off-jallikattu-at-alanganallur/article33586250.ece

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