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Three more gored to death by charging bulls during Pongal

Statesman News Service | Chennai |

Giving credential to the earlier apprehensions of Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) over the security lapse of Jallikkattu, three more persons were gored to death by charging bulls and 70 persons were injured, some of them critically, in bull taming sports held in two districts of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday in connection with the Pongal festival.

While R Solaiandi (25) was gored to death at Avaarangaduin Tiruchirappalli district, Ramanathan (45) and Kasi died in Sivaganga districts increasing the number of persons who lost their lives in Jallikkaattu during the this year’s events to four.

More than 100 people have been injured in the events held during Sunday and Monday at Madurai and Tirchirappalli. As the season will end only on 31 May, 2018, which means Tamil Nadu is in for more such deaths and fatalities in the coming days.

But in a curious U-turn, the AWBI officials, entrusted with the safety of the animals and bull tamers have joined the festivities demanding that Jallikkaatu should be made a permanent affair in the State. S K Mittal, convener, AWBI, said on Monday that Jallikkattu should he held forever in Tamil Nadu and he scoffed at those who oppose the sport. Mittal joined Tamil Nadu minister Udayakumar and Madurai district collector K Veeraraghava Rao in inaugurating the Monday’s event at Palamedu in Madurai.

But Tuesday’s Jallikkatu event held at Ananganallur in Madurai shocked the spectators as the organisers made it in to an open gambling. When the bulls were forced out to the arena through the Vadivaasal (the narrow passage to the arena), the announcer declared that the person who tames the bull would get Rs 10,000.

Meanwhile, the video of a person announcing an unmarried women and the bull as gift to those who tame it in the Jallikkattu went viral in the state and finally the person admitted to the police that he has done it in an inebriated state.

Komban, a ferocious looking bull owned by Tamil Nadu minister Vijaya Bhaskar, turned out to be Tuesday’s star as no tamers could come anywhere near it inspite of the announcer declaring openly that the person who tames Komban would get Rs 10,000.

There were prices ranging from Renault cars to motorcycles to refrigerators to entice the tamers. All these things happened in the presence of chief minister Edappadi Palaniswamy and his deputy O Panneerselvam