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Sense of fear discernible as Jallikattu gains momentum
There is a sense of fear and anxiety among villagers in the districts of Madurai, Tirunelveli, Namakkal, Theni and Dindigul as preparations are in full swing for the next round of Jallikattu events. Notwithstanding the increase in the number of persons gored to death by the bulls and the number of bulls getting killed, the organisers are going ahead in full steam to make as much money as possible through the traditional event.
Sunday’s death of Komban, the star bull in Tamil Nadu’s J-League (as the Jallikattu events are described by fans to rhyme with the Japanese soccer league) in Pudukottai district has cast a shadow on the followers of the event. But the injuries sustained by more than 40 people on the same day in various Jallikkattu events went unnoticed. “The number of people who have lost their lives since January 15 could have touched 20. We are trying to collect the details from some of the remote villages in the State,” said an animal rights activist from the Nilgiris. Komban died when its horns got entangled in the iron fence leading to the arena.
Officials in the districts where there were human casualties said that they had sent reports to the Government about the deaths. “It is for the authorities to take a call on these reports. The Government rules do not have any provisions to offer compensation to those who meet with accidents and die during Jallikattu,” said a district official in Tiruchirappalli.
A film actor came forward to build a house for the kin of a victim who got electrocuted during a demonstration held at Salem in January 2017 demanding the immediate revival of the Jallikkattu. But no such good Samaritan actions have been reported from anywhere in the State to help the families of those who were gored to death by the bulls during the Jallikkattu.
“The animals as well as the hman beings should be taken care of. I am surprised at the callous attitude of the authorities towards the kin of the Jallikkattu victims,” said an aid animal lover based in Chennai. “We love the animals as well as human beings. It is in the interest of both we demand a total ban on this barbaric ritual,” said Chinni Krishna, former vice-chairman, Animal Welfare Board of India.
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