The interim ban on annual buffalo race Kambala in Karnataka will remain for at least another two weeks as the High Court on Monday decided to await the Supreme Court verdict on Jallikattu pending before it.
“This honourable court will wait for the Supreme Court order on Jallikattu (bull taming sport) and accordingly decide on Kambala,” Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherjee heading a division bench said in his order. The case was then adjourned for two weeks.
The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear all Jallikattu matters on Tuesday after the Centre filed a plea seeking to withdraw the January 6 notification, so as to allow the bull-taming sport in Tamil Nadu. A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra had allowed all the applications related to Jallikattu to be filed.
A division bench of the Karnataka High Court headed by Chief Justice had in November last passed an interim order banning all Kambala races until the disposal of PIL filed by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).
Reacting to the court order, Kambala Committee President Ashok Pai said they would soon decide on resuming massive protests across the state.
“We may decide to resume our protests, beginning from tomorrow itself. The only hope before us is the state government. We hope it issues the ordinance paving the way for conducting Kambala,” Pai said
The interim order hit Kambala organisers who were not permitted to conduct the event held in Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts in the coastal region. Kambala committees had filed an interim application, seeking vacation of the stay spurred by the success of the Jallikattu stir in Tamil Nadu.
Amid continuing protests against the ban, Karnataka Cabinet on January 28 had decided to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to pave the way for Kambala. The protesters are demanding an ordinance, as was done in the case of Jallikattu to permit holding of the folk sport.
The annual sport, held from November to March, involves a pair of buffaloes tied to the plough and anchored by one person. They are made to run in parallel muddy tracks in a competition in which the fastest team wins. It is believed to be held to propitiate the Gods for a good harvest, besides being a recreational sport for farmers.
PETA, on the other hand, has been arguing that the agitators in Karnataka have taken a leaf out of the pro-Jallikattu protesters’ book and begun to falsely label PETA India as ‘foreign’ and were now calling for banning the organisation.
Facing growing demand for holding Kambala, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said an ordinance could be brought in, if necessary, to allow the event after seeking legal opinion. He had also asked the Centre to take a favourable stand on Kambala as it did on Jallikattu, where both Tamil Nadu and central governments, after facing public pressure moved swiftly to facilitate the sport.