Thousands of protesters have thronged Marina Beach in Chennai on Thursday against a court ban on Jallikattu, Tamil Nadu’s popular but controversial bull-taming sport played during Pongal festivities in mid-January.
They have demanded lifting of restrictions on the sport, a ban on animal rights campaign group PETA, and an audience with chief minister O Panneerselvam.
The chief minister didn’t go to Marina, but promised in a statement that he would request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pass an emergency ordinance to allow the sport. Also, he implored the protesters to end their demonstration.
Officials said Panneerselvam will fly to New Delhi on Thursday to meet Modi and seek an ordinance to lift the Supreme Court ban on the sport that has sparked massive protests and fuelled anger against the state and central governments.
Live updates below
So will you ban cricket also? The cricket ball is dangerous,and it has been fatal for many players: Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev #jallikattu pic.twitter.com/soKRczjLwW— ANI (@ANI_news)January 19, 2017
2:15 pm: “Congress respects rights of people of Tamil Nadu to preserve the culture and protect rich tradition of Jallikattu,” says RS Surjewala of the Congress. “It is responsibility of Centre and state to respect sentiments & strike a balance on safety and safeguard,” he adds.
2:00 pm: The Madras high court Advocates Association has announced boycott of the courts on Friday in support of state wide protests demanding a lifting ban on Jallikattu.
1:30 pm: Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader and Dharmapuri MP Anbumani Ramadoss is protesting outside the residence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi due to the latter’s refusal to meet him for a discussion over the bull taming sport of Jallikattu.
12:40 pm: “Gave letter to PM saying that ban on Jallikattu must be lifted and Centre should draft an ordinance on it,” ANI quoting Tamil Nadu CM O Panneerselvam. “PM Modi said he gives highest importance to cultural values of the state. He assured he will extend full support to us,” he added.
12:15 pm: Spiritual guru Ravi Shankar supports Jallikattu, says, “Pongal is the biggest festival in Tamil Nadu,bigger than Holi and Diwali,and Jallikattu is an intergral part of Pongal.”
11:40 am: “The ban imposed on Jallikattu by the Supreme Court came up for discussion. While appreciating the cultural significance of Jallikattu, the Prime Minister observed that the matter is presently sub-judice,” tweets PM Modi after meeting Tamil Nadu chief minister O Pannerselvam.
Delhi: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Pannerselvam meets Prime Minister Narendra Modi to urge ordinance on #Jallikattu. pic.twitter.com/KnTgV9YKhR— ANI (@ANI_news)January 19, 2017
11:00 am: Supreme Court refuses to admit a plea filed which sought that apex court should hear the matter pertaining to the public protest against Jallikattu ban at Marina beach. The Supreme Court asked the petitioner to approach the concerned Court.
Delhi: Youth activists protest outside Tamil Nadu House in support of the bull taming sport #jallikattu pic.twitter.com/2wlZ0DJ4Kk— ANI (@ANI_news)January 19, 2017
10:25 am: Chief minister O Panneerselvam arrives at 7, Lok Kalyan Marg to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to urge ordinance on Jallikattu.
10:15 am: Several colleges have declared holiday in Chennai and in other parts of the state, the number of students to assemble at Marina is expected to go up.
10:00 am: At the Marina beach here, protesters sat through Wednesday night and on Thursday morning, they helped in cleaning up the area which is a litter free zone.