TAMIL NADU

Alanganallur resolute; protests gather steam across TN

Sea of support:Thousands of youngsters staging a protest at Tamukkam Grounds in Madurai on Wednesday.— Photo: R. Ashok  

The protests for jallikattu gained momentum across the State with people from various walks of life lending their support for the conduct of the bull-taming sport.

The protests at Alanganallur, a town near Madurai which was made world famous by jallikattu, continued with the same momentum for the third day on Wednesday with more people from nearby villages and districts joining. A considerable number of those detained by the police on Tuesday returned to the protest venue on Wednesday. The protests became more organised with the setting up of loud speakers and volunteers from Alanganallur and nearby villages ensuring regular supply of water and food.

Earlier in the day, the protesters announced that no celebrities or politicians would be allowed to address the protesters but they could instead participate as individuals. No political party will be allowed to stake a claim to the protests, the organisers said.

Some of the television channels were treated with hostility as a section of protesters felt that they were not giving adequate coverage of the protests in Alanganallur. One of the TV channel crew was even gheroed. As the protests continued through the night, the protesters remained resolute that they will not leave the place until arrangements were made to conduct jallikattu immediately.

Turnout at Coimbatore

Coimbatore city witnessed the biggest gathering of students ever as nearly 20,000 of them bunked classes and marched to VOC Grounds in support of jallikattu on Wednesday. ‘Ban PETA’ turned out to be the most repeated slogan of the day.

Students attached to various colleges and polytechnic schools boycotted classes and joined processions bringing traffic on Avinashi Road to a standstill. Students from at least five colleges gathered at the Codissia Grounds and joined the procession.

S. Radhika Sundar, a home

maker from Ganapathy had come with three of her friends to support the protest in which her son is actively involved. While the number of women participants was barely 200 on Tuesday, at least 6,000 of them assembled at the grounds on Wednesday. Mobile toilets were also placed at the corner of the venue exclusively for women.

In the Central region, massive pro-jallikattu protests by students and youths were held. According to police, protests were held at more than 100 places in seven districts.

Thousands of students, mobilised through social media messages, took to the streets.

Students of a majority of colleges boycotted classes to take part in the protests. In Tiruchi, protests were held at 15 places including Tiruchi city.

( With inputs from Wilson Thomas in Coimbatore and C. Jaisankar in Tiruchi )

Some TV channels had to face the

wrath of protesters for “inadequate coverage’’