At 11.00 am on Thursday, Justice Deepak Misra and Justice Bhanumathi told a bunch of lawyers from Tamil Nadu that it was unfair to ask the court to deliver its verdict on Jallikattu bulls. Around the same time, activists of political party Naam Tamilar Katchi were being arrested in Cuddalore.
Huge setback for Jallikattu supporters, SC refuses to pass orders before Pongal
Defying the SC ban on Jallikattu in 2014, the Naam Tamilar Katchi organised a Jallikattu event in Thiruvanthipuram, Cuddalore district.
“We don’t need permission from anyone. Next time we will organise it in Madurai,” members of Naam Tamilar Katchi told TV reporters. They later went on to say that Jallikattu would be in other districts as well.
The bulls and bull tamers were brought to Cuddalore by Wednesday night from Dindigul and other neighbouring district by the organisers. On Thursday morning, the organisers announced the venue and the event started at around 8:30 am.
The event according to local reporters went on till 9.30. As Tamil news channels beamed live visuals of the Jallikattu, police were alerted and rushed to the spot.
Activists were arrested amidst sloganeering.
In 2016, just three days ahead of Pongal, the Supreme Court while hearing petitions filed by Animal Welfare Board of India, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India and a Bangalore-based NGO, overruled Centre’s notification to allow the sport for the first time in four years.
The apex court questioned, “What is the necessity of such festivals… like Jallikattu? There was no festival for four years… as an interim measure, we direct that there shall be stay of notification dated January 7, 2016 issued by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, until further orders.”
The Narendra Modi government on January 7 had passed a notification allowing the bull taming sport to be conducted with certain restrictions.
Jallikattu also known as Eruthazhuvuthal is a bull taming sport played in Tamil Nadu as a part of Pongal celebrations on Mattu Pongal day. Political parties across Tamil Nadu are united in their pro-Jallikattu stance and was the most common electoral promise in the May, 2016 assembly elections.
Supreme Court reins in the bulls, stay ordered on Jallikattu
Following the Supreme Court order banning Jallikattu, widespread anger was witnessed across Tamil Nadu especially the southern districts.
The Supreme Court in May 2014, banned the bull sport, Jallikattu saying, “The mere presence of tradition can’t justify practices. By this logic should courts allow child marriage, which too was a part of custom for centuries.”
The court held that bulls cannot be used as performing animals either for Jallikattu or for bullock cart races anywhere in the country.
Following this the central government had passed a notification exempting Jallikattu from the law, which has since been stayed by the apex court.
Even last year, clashes between the administration and Jallikattu organisers were witnessed in some pockets of the state.
Source: The News Minute