Today's Paper

TN takes jallikattu issue to PM

gridlocked:Traffic was hit after protesters and students, seeking revocation of the ban on jallikattu, spilled over on to Kamarajar Salai in Chennai on Wednesday.— Photo: S.R. Raghunathan  

With the pro-jallikattu (bull-taming sport) protests turning into a mass movement in Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam held talks with representatives of the protesters in Chennai and flew to New Delhi on Wednesday night to take up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Separately, AIADMK general secretary V.K. Sasikala backed the demand to ban the global NGO, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), originally raised by DMK leader M.K. Stalin two days ago.

‘It is our right’

However, the representatives refused to call off their agitation, which spawned overnight at the Marina in Chennai, Alanganallur in Madurai, VOC Grounds in Coimbatore and other districts, saying they would await the outcome of the scheduled talks between Mr. Modi and Mr. Panneerselvam on Thursday morning.

Backing the demand of the protesters, the Chief Minister told journalists outside the Chennai airport, “Jallikattu is our right. I am going to insist to the Centre to intervene and promulgate an ordinance to facilitate its conduct.”

Initiated on social media platforms, the protests which were initially confined to the college student community and rural folk, overnight turned into a mass movement of sorts, with other sections of people including housewives and software engineers joining in to demand the lifting of the ban on jallikattu. Everywhere, the protesters demanded the lifting of the ban or an ordinance. They also sought a ban on PETA.