Tamil Nadu CM Palaniswami, Deputy CM Paneerselvam inaugurate Jallikattu competition in Madurai

South India
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On December 22 last year, the Tamil Nadu government had granted permission to hold Jallikattu with certain restrictions.

 

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy CM O Paneerselvam inaugurated the Jallikattu competition in the Alanganallur area of Madurai on Saturday.

Amid the COVID-19 outbreak, traditional bull-taming sport 'Jallikattu' began at Avaniyapuram in Madurai on Thursday.

On December 22 last year, the Tamil Nadu government had granted permission to hold Jallikattu with certain restrictions.

As per the directive, the number of players can not be more than 150 at an event and COVID-19 negative certificates have been made mandatory for players. 

In addition, the number of spectators has also been restricted to 50 per cent of the gathering.

Jallikattu is typically practised in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongal day, which occurs annually in January.

As there were incidents of injury and death associated with the sport, both to the participants and to the animals forced into it, animal rights organizations have called for a ban to the sport.

The Supreme Court (SC) in 2014 banned 'Jallikattu' after a plea was filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) but the state government insisted that Jallikattu was a crucial part of its culture and identity.

The ban was later lifted in January 2017 with an amendment to the law after massive protests in Chennai. 

The traditional sport involves a bull charging into an arena where participants attempt to encircle it and grab its hump.

In some cases, participants must ride long enough to remove flags on the bull's horns. The participant who is able to cling on to the animal is declared the winner.
 

 

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