Chennai: Massive protests continued on Thursday in Tamil Nadu in support of Jallikattu, the ancient and popular bull-taming sport.
At the Marina beach here, protesters sat through Wednesday night and on Thursday morning, they helped in cleaning up the area which is a litter free zone. On Wednesday in the Marina, thousands of young men and women demanded not only an end to the ban on Jallikattu but also a ban on People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which opposes the sport.
With several colleges declaring holiday here and in other parts of the state, the number of students to assemble at Marina is expected to go up. Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam will be meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi to press for promulgation of an ordinance enabling the conduct of Jallikattu.
In Jallikattu, a bull vaulter is expected to hang on to the animal's hump for a stipulated distance or for a minimum of three jumps by the bull. The Supreme Court in May 2014 banned Jallikattu, saying that bulls cannot be used as performing animals including bullock-cart races. Since then, people have been urging the central government to take steps to allow the sport. The common complaint among the protest leaders was that the Supreme Court had insulted the Tamil culture by disallowing the sport.
In Chennai, the demonstration began on Tuesday morning following the arrest of Jallikattu protesters in Madurai district's Alanganallur town well known for conducting the sport. Thousands of youths who began their protest in Alanganallur on Monday were arrested a day later. Police housed the protesters -- both men and women -- at wedding halls. Angered by the arrests, villagers took to the streets.