Successful bull tamers win prizes like gold coins, two-wheelers or even a car. (Image Credit: IANS)
53 people were injured, some of them sustained severe injuries, in the bull-taming sport of 'Jallikattu' organised in Tamil Nadu's Madurai district on Wednesday. The event was organised during the Maattu Pongal celebrations, a day dedicated to cattle. Some reports claim, that several people, with Jallikattu-related injuries, have been admitted to local hospitals in Madurai for treatment. According to reports, nearly 1,000 bulls are participating in today's event. Some people were also injured at another Jallikattu event in Thachankurichi.
In the event, bulls – adorned with garlands of marigolds - are released and then men participating in the game try to tame them by grabbing their horns. Successful bull tamers win prizes like gold coins, two-wheelers or even a car.
Jallikattu, also known Eruthazhuvuthal, is a bull-taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as part of the Pongal harvest festival. It was banned by the Supreme Court in 2015 on grounds of animal cruelty. However, But the ban was lifted in 2016 with an amendment to the law after massive protests along the Marina beach in Chennai.
In February last year, the Supreme Court had referred matters related to the bull-taming sport Jallikattu to a Constitution bench. A bench of then Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice R F Nariman had framed five questions to be adjudicated on by the Constitution bench.
The top court had earlier dismissed the Tamil Nadu government's plea seeking a review of the 2014 judgement banning the use of bulls for Jallikattu events in the state and bullock cart races across the country.
The court in its 2014 judgement had said bulls cannot be used as performing animals, either for Jallikattu events or bullock-cart races in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country and had banned their use across the country.