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PM says Jallikattu matter is sub-judice, assures support to OPS

Source: PTI
Last updated on: January 19, 2017 14:14 IST
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The Tamil Nadu government will soon take steps to enable holding of Jallikattu event with support from the Centre, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Thursday said after meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"We will take steps with the backing of the Centre. You will soon see (the steps). Wait, good will happen," he told reporters after the meeting in which he urged the Central government to issue an ordinance to enable the sport to be conducted.

Modi told the chief minister that he fully understood the sentiments of Tamil Nadu people on the Jallikattu issue.

"I am aware of the feelings of the people," Modi was quoted by the chief minister as having told him.

However, Modi virtually indicated his government's inability to promulgate an ordinance on allowing Jallikattu noting that the matter is sub-judice but he assured that the Centre would support any steps taken by the state government on this.

"While appreciating the cultural significance of Jallikattu, the prime minister observed that the matter is at present sub-judice," the PMO said after the meeting.

At the same time, it said, "The Centre would be supportive of the steps taken by the state government."

With regard to the drought situation in Tamil Nadu, Modi assured Paneerselvam that all possible assistance would be provided to the state.

A central team would be deputed to Tamil Nadu shortly to assess the drought situation, the PMO said. 

Panneerselvam also recalled that All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam chief Sasikala has written a letter to the prime minister seeking Centre's ordinance to hold the sport.

The chief minister said that he told the prime minister that Jallikattu is an age-old heritage of Tamil Nadu and a sport symbolising bravery and that it should be allowed.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Thursday refused to hear a plea related to public protests taking place on Chennai's Marina Beach over the issue of the banning of the bull taming sport of Jallikattu.

A bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice of India Jagdish Singh Khehar refused to hear the plea filed by lawyer, Raja Raman, who sought that the court should hear the matter pertaining to public protest in Marina beach.

The apex court however, asked the lawyer to file appropriate plea in the Madras high court for relief.

Raja Raman in his plea mentioned the matter before the apex court and pleaded that this court should take suo motu cognizance in the case.

"The public there in the Marina beach were staging a peaceful protest, but the police were even not allowing the protesters to take food and water. So this court should take suo motu cognizance in the matter and hear it," the petitioner said.

In Chennai, pro-Jallikattu protesters continue to stage demonstrations for the third consecutive day at Marina Beach demanding that the ban on the bull taming sport be lifted and a strict action be taken against animal rights group PETA.

In Madurai, District Collector Veeraraghava Rao said that the protests against the ban on Jallikattu in the last few days had been peaceful.

He told the protesters that the government was taking "all efforts to organise Jallikattu."

"Jallikattu is part of Tamil culture and was necessary to protect the culture. Just as we rear cows in our house and do pooja, we also rear bull and hold bull games... it was in our culture. There is nothing wrong in fighting for protecting the culture. But it should be peaceful", he told them.

Those participating in the protest were being provided food and water. They are at the same venue since the agitation started, he said.

In Tiruchirappalli, protests continued for the the second day and it did not affect the normal life of people.

The protesters wanted an order from the Supreme Court, which imposed a ban on Jallikattu, in favour of the the sport striking a balance between the sentiments of Tamil Nadu people and the animal lovers.

The protesters also demanded a ban on PETA, which opposes the bull taming sport.

In Puducherry, students of various educational institutions continued their agitation in favour of the bull taming sport boycotting classes for the second day.

Thousands of students from various institutions and volunteers of various youth outfits were holding protests in the sprawling AFT mill ground on Puducherry-Cuddalore road raising slogans in support of Jallikattu and seeking ban on PETA. 

Members of various non-political outfits also formed a human chain in the city to register their solidarity with the agitation.

IMAGE: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg in New Delhi on Thursday. Photograph: @PIBIndia/Twitter

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