The seven days of jallikattu protests

Violence breaks out in Alanganallur after eviction of protesters

Police lathi charge protesters who refused to leave the venue on Monday.   | Photo Credit: G. Moorthy

Violence broke out in Alanganallur on Monday after a group of local youngsters resorted to stone pelting following the forceful eviction of around 200 protesters, who refused to call off the protest, despite majority of the village deciding to conduct Jallikattu on February 1.

At least 15 people were injured in the violence and around 35 protesters had been detained by the police, as per initial reports.

Tension mounted in the village since morning as a core group of protesters, predominantly activists from other cities who were playing a pivotal role in the protests from day one, managed to retain a considerable number of locals, particularly women, to continue the protests.

Emotions were running high as the protesters termed everyone calling for stopping the protests as traitors. They also said that the State government was cheating them by providing a stopgap solution for conducting jallikattu.

Meanwhile, the village jallikattu organizing committee convened a meeting at the temple near jallikattu arena and announced that they will conduct jallikattu on February 1 in coordination with the district administration.

They also thanked the protesters, who had come from all over Tamil Nadu for the phenomenal victory. Later, repeated appeals by the village organizing committee to the protesters to give up the struggle failed.

As police began to round up the protesters, a group of women protesters, mostly from the village, formed a chain around the remaining protesters, some of whom were forcefully taken away by their husbands later.

Close to noon, the police forcefully evicted all the protesters from the venue. Soon after the protesters were evicted, some of the local youths started pelting stones from the adjacent streets towards the police.

The police, who initially had to take backtrack, later resorted to lathicharge and threw stones back at the stone-pelters to chase them away.

Riot like situation prevailed in the village for about 20 minutes in the village, following which the situation was brought under control. An eerie silence prevailed over the village with everyone remaining indoors and all the shops remaining closed.

At least fifteen people, including women protesters and police, incurred minor to severe injuries in the violence. The injured had been taken to different hospitals.

Madurai South Zone Inspector General of Police S. Murugan later visited the spot and assessed the situation.

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Printable version | Feb 26, 2021 11:09:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/violence-breaks-out-in-alanganallur-after-eviction-of-protesters/article17082336.ece1

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