Chennai, Jan 17, 2020: A 26-year-old man was gored to death today at a Jallikattu festival in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai district. Police reports say the man, who has been identified as Sridhar, was a bull tamer who died in the arena. However other reports suggest he was only a bystander waiting behind the enclosure where the bulls are held and was gored after one animal got loose.
At least 29 others suffered injuries at the event in Alanganallur, a panchayat town widely seen as one of the more important Jallikattu centres in the state, and one in which 700 bulls and 800 tamers had registered to participate.
Jallikattu, a traditional bull-taming event, is organised every year as part of the harvest festival Pongal. This year’s edition kicked off across the state on Wednesday morning and will run till January 31.
Also on Wednesday 32 people were injured in Madurai City, where over 2,000 bulls have been registered; four people suffered serious injuries and were shifted to a government-run hospital.
On Thursday more than 20 bull tamers were injured at Jallikattu events in Tiruchirappalli district.
According to news agency PTI more than 1,200 bulls were used at events in Palamedu and Suriyur in the district. Nearly 1,000 farmers participated and a female spectator was injured after a bull hit her.
Earlier this week the Supreme Court turned down a petition challenging a Madras High Court order that allowed Jallikattu to be conducted in the state. The top court directed the petition to approach the Chennai Bench of the High Court instead.
In 2014, the top court had banned the event after a plea filed by the Animal Welfare Board of India and the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
However, the state government insisted Jallikattu was a crucial part of its culture and identity.
The ban was lifted in January 2017 and the law amended after massive protests in Chennai.
Although there are systems in place to check treatment of the bulls and ensure safety of participants and spectators, activists allege that animal cruelty still continues.
People have been gored to death in past event as well. Over 200 people - both tamers and spectators - have lost their lives in the last two decades.
With input from PTIAccording to news agency PTI more than 1,200 bulls were used at events in Palamedu and Suriyur in the district. Nearly 1,000 farmers participated and a female spectator was injured - in Suriyur - after a bull hit her.