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In PHOTOS: Tamil Nadu's dangerous bull-taming fest

Last updated on: January 18, 2011 12:21 IST

Tamil Nadu's dangerous bull-taming fest

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Tamil Nadu's over 400 year-old bull-taming festival, popularly known as Jallukattu, has once again been a bloody affair. 

At least 72 competitors were hurt, 11 of them seriously, in the popular event in Alanganallur in Madurai district.

The event was cut short after a section of spectators turned violent and clashed with police resulting in the injury to 40 more people Police baton charged twice -- once to quell stone- pelting people at the venue and then to disperse a group blocking roads protesting the action.

Click on NEXT to see more PHOTOS of the event...


Image: A villager is pinned down by a bull during a bull-taming festival on the outskirts of Madurai town
Photographs: Babu/Reuters
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Villagers try to control a bull. The annual bull-taming festival is celebrated as part of south India's harvest festival of Pongal



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The event, which attracted a large number of people, including foreign tourists, got off to a brisk start with participation of over 570 bulls from various parts of the state



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Trouble broke when police asked the spectators to move away from the zone earmarked for owners of bulls, which came out untamed. Some persons threw stones at police, injuring some of their personnel. Police then baton charged in which 20 spectators were injured.



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Thousands of people, including foreign tourists, had gathered at the venue to witness the traditional sport





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A policeman stands guard near the bicycles, which were to be awarded to the winners of the bull-taming festival on the outskirts of Madurai town



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More than 1,200 police personnel were deployed for the event, which was held as per Supreme Court guidelines issued in the wake of complaints from animal rights activists about cruelty to the bulls, besides casualties among spectators.



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Meanwhile, a seriously injured person, gored by a bull at the Jallikattu at Avaniapuram on Sunday, died at a hospital without responding to treatment, taking the toll at the event to two, officials said.



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At Siravayal In Sivaganga district, ten persons were injured in a clash between police and Jallikattu organisers as the police tried to prevent the bulls that had come to participate in the event for which permission had not been granted, police said.



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Villagers try to control a bull during the bull-taming festival on the outskirts of Madurai town



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