In yet another instance of defiance, Jallikattu was organised on Friday in Madurai as protests continued for the fourth day today in Tamil Nadu with principal opposition Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam too hitting the streets on Pongal eve, seeking permission for conducting the bull taming sport.
A day after Supreme Court said it could not give its verdict on Jallikattu before Pongal, the DMK pressed the Centre to promulgate an ordinance to allow the sport.
In Karisalkulam village near Madurai, the sport was held in an open ground for a few minutes, a police official said.
In a symbolic protest, around five bulls were let into the ground by a group of youths, he said, adding no arrests were made.
One of the organisers, Muthupandi, contended, “There may not be need for any court permission to follow one’s culture.”
In Coimbatore district, a group of 150 villagers conducted rekla race in Ettimadi village protesting the Jallikkattu ban. No arrests were made, police said.
The acts of defiance came against the background of a similar show on Thursday in Cuddalore where 28 persons were arrested for going ahead with the sport despite the ban.
DMK working president M K Stalin led a protest in Chennai and sought promulgation of an ordinance to allow holding the sport.
Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Stalin, the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, wondered why he cannot give time to All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MPs to discuss an important heritage issue of Tamilians when he could meet actors.
Animal rights groups PETA, which has been rallying against Jallikattu on grounds of alleged cruelty to bulls, petitioned President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi arguing against any promulgation of an ordinance to permit the sport, saying it could be considered unconstitutional.
Elsewhere in the state, protests by students and other pro-Tamil groups were held demanding that the sport be allowed and for ‘banning’ PETA which, according to them, was acting against the interests of Tamil Nadu.
A group of Jallikattu supporters briefly picketed locale of the shooting of Tamil film Garjanai, starring Trisha, in Sivaganga district, angered by the actor's pro-PETA stand.
However, Trisha, a known animal lover and who has featured in PETA’s advertisement for adopting homeless dogs, was not present when the activists of Naam Tamizhar Katchi and some fringe outfits descended on the spot in Nemathanpatti, police said.
Meanwhile, heavy police force have been deployed in Avaniapuram, Palamedu and Alanganallur, famous locations for jallikattu in Madurai District, as various organisations vowed to violate the ban and organise the sport.
Police said all steps have been taken to ensure maintenance of law and order and compliance of court’s ban even as district officials said so far no decision had been taken on promulgating prohibitory orders in these places.
In Chennai, a human chain was formed by students seeking nod for holding the sport.
A group of students tried to stage a ‘rail roko’ at Salem Railway Station but were removed by police.
In Erode, hundreds of young men participated in a two-wheeler rally demanding permission to hold Jallikattu.
In Dindigul and Arani near Tiruvannamalai, youth sported black shirts as a mark of protest and took out decorated bulls on main roads.
They held placards which said Jallikattu was ‘our cultural sport, our right’.
Rallies were also taken out in Vellore, Madurai, Sivaganga, and Rameswaram demanding Jallikattu be allowed.
The Supreme Court had outlawed Jallikattu in 2014 and a review petition of Tamil Nadu was also dismissed last Deccember.
Judgment on a matter related to the Centre’s notification of last year to exempt Jallikattu from the ban has been reserved by the apex court.
With Jallikattu traditionally held along with Pongal festivities, there has been a growing chorus in support of lifting the ban on the sport in the state in the past four days with people from various walks of life staging protests.