Tamil Nadu witnessing mass student uprising for jallikattu - NEWS SENTRY


Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Tamil Nadu witnessing mass student uprising for jallikattu

CHENNAI: You may call it the Tamil Nadu version of the Arab Spring, or it may even remind you of the anti-Hindi agitation in the state in the 1960s. It is happening -- students and youngsters are on the roads and public places demanding the conduct of jallikattu, the traditional bull-taming sport in the state.
The youngsters are protesting against the failure of the central and state governments to enable the conduct of jallikatttu+ during the just concluded Pongal festival. They are protesting against animal welfare organisations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals+ (PETA) on whose petitions the Supreme Court banned the bull-taming sport.

The protest reached a crescendo when the thousands of youngsters assembled on the Marina Beach in Chennai on Tuesday. They continued their protest overnight. On Wednesday, the demonstrators refused to budge until chief minister O Panneerselvam intervened.
After talks with senior police officers failed last night, the ruling AIADMK sent fisheries minister D Jayakumar and school education minister Mafoi K Pandiarajan to speak with the protesters on behalf of the government. However, the protesters demanded that the chief minister issue a statement to clarify the state's position on the Jallikattu issue and added that the protest will not cease until such a time.
Several college students bunked classes to be at the protest venue with numbers swelling as the day progressed. Film actor Raghava Lawrence was the latest Kollywood representative to express support when he joined the demonstration opposite the Ice House on Kamarajar Salai.
Traffic came to a standstill on the Old Mahabalipuram Road (OMR) in Chennai when the students of the Sathyabama University staged a pro-jallikattu protest. Protests were happening other parts of the city too.
Protest continued for the third day at Alanganallur in Madurai district.
In Madurai city, youngsters staged a protest on Tamukkam grounds on Wednesday morning. In Kovilpatti in Tuticorin district, police arrested around 100 protesters who attempted to take out a rally against PETA.
A student suffered injuries when he jumped off a pole during a protest at Vaniyambadi in Vellore district. K Suresh, a second year student of Priyadharshini Polytechnic College, climbed on an electric pole in front of the college around 1pm. Before jumping off the pole, he shouted slogans against PETA and demanded that the central government take steps to lift the ban on jallikattu.
He was rushed him to Government Hospital in Vaniyambadi. The doctors examined him and told his friends that he sustained fractures on his right leg and left hand. He was referred to Government Vellore Medical College Hospital.
Reports of students boycotting classes and staging protests were coming from Trichy, Salem, Krishnagiri, Coimbatore and other parts of the state.
The impromptu agitation by youth on Marina Beach had its echo in Madras high court, when a lawyer brought the matter to the knowledge of the court. On Tuesday morning traffic had to be diverted away from the Kamarajar Salai, and even judges had to take a different route to reach courts.
When the first bench of chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Justice M Sundar assumed their seats, advocate K Balu mentioned the issue and said police had switched off power on the Marina to dissuade the protesters.
To this, the judges said the Supreme Court was already seized of the issue and it had not passed any orders even after a mention was made before the event last week. Noting that Marina Beach was not venue for protests, the bench said it could not do anything about the ongoing protests.
While making it clear that it could not interfere in the matter and pass any orders, it did acknowledge Balu's submission that he was taking the development to the court's notice.
A group of law college students took out a rally near the high court premises

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