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Bull taming sport gets Madras HC nod
January 09, 2007 19:22 IST
The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court on Tuesday permitted the holding of 'Jallikattu' or the sport of taming bull in connection with temple rituals and the Pongal festival at different places in this district.
The places include Alanganallur, Palamedu, Perungudi and Avaniapuram. In its interim order, a division bench comprising Justices Dharma Rao Elipe and P P S Janarthana Raja directed the district collector and superintendent of police to ensure that the sport was held with all infrastructural facilities, including provision of a medical team, medicines and a gallery for spectators.
The court also directed the government to give Rs one lakh as compensation to a painter who was gored to death last year when he went to the Jallikattu venue at Alanganallur to paint the scene.
Different petitions for and against Jallikattu were posted for hearing in the first week of February. The petitioner, who sought permission for Jallikattu at Palamedu, contended that sufficient infrastructure had been created for the sport.
Even the collector and the SP had been spectators of the sport, he said. He denied the bulls were ill-treated and contended that they are 'only tamed.' A person is allowed to hold the hump of the bull only for 15 feet after it is released at the 'vadivasal' (gate), he said.
In his affidavit, District Collector T Udhayachandran said Jallikattu was not confined to Hindu religion alone but had historical as well as religious proof of being celebrated by Hindus, Muslims and Christians.
It was a cultural festival which united the people of different folds, he contended.
He said the Alanganallur Jallikattu was the most important among Jallikattu festivals. As a game, it found place in ancient literature. There was no question of harming the bulls as they were reared as temple bulls and people patronised them, he said.
The petitioner D Raghupathy said Jallikattu was a time tested tradition. The bulls were reared specially for Jallikattu and were loved by one and all. The advocates argued that the provisions of the Society for prevention of cruelty to Animals Act did not ban Jallikattu and that a total ban was unwarranted.