Jallikattu Protests Turn Violent

Violence broke out across Tamil Nadu as the once “orderly and peaceful“ ranks of protestors, demanding that the state's farmers be allowed to perform jallikattu, clashed with police even as lawmakers granted approval for the conduct of the bull-taming sport that has inflamed passions and stoked debate for weeks. Battalions of police personnel descended almost simultaneously at various protest points across the state, even as the governor in his address to the state assembly hailed the “mass movement (that) has paved the way for lifting the ban on jallikattu.“

Even as news filtered in that their demands were being met, protestors with no visible leaders in sight, were unsure of their next moves while the state government erred on the side of force. The clashes were an unlikely denouement to the well-organised protest movement -where students and professionals backed farmers -aimed at gaining official sanction for a sport opposed by animal rights activists.

Protesters who continued to stay on Marina on Monday evening said the violence on the streets of Chennai was a direct fallout of forcible evacuation.Protesters said the police force came in as early as 4 am in the morning and began targeting some groups on the beach.

People scattered after the initial blows, many leaving the beach while many ran deeper toward the sea. In the assembly, Governor C Vidhya Sagar Rao was hailing the protesters for the peaceful nature of the protests.

“Thus, after receiving an assurance from the Government of India that the state government's actions to ensure conduct of jallikattu would be supported, the state government has followed the Constitutional route and issued an Ordinance amending the relevant provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 in so far as they relate to Tamil Nadu, thereby enabling the conduct of jallikattu,“ the governor said in his address.

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