Several supporters of Jallikattu were baton-charged and taken into preventive custody on Saturday near Madurai for allegedly trying to defy a ban on the traditional bull taming sport associated with Pongal festivities.

Anticipating trouble, police in large number was deployed in sensitive areas where the sport is generally held like Avaniapuram, Palamedu and Alanganallur, locations famous for Jallikattu in Madurai district.

b’Jallikattu/ Reuters’

Police baton-charged people protesting against the ban on Jallikattu in Avaniapuram on Saturday. Thirty people have been detained.

The step came following indications by various organisations to organise the sport on Pongal today.

The Supreme Court on Thursday had said it could not give its verdict on Jallikattu before Pongal even as political parties cutting across party lines had demanded from the Centre promulgation of an ordinance to allow the sport.

Yesterday, in Karisalkulam village near Madurai, the sport was held in an open ground for a few minutes. In a symbolic protest, around five bulls were let into the ground by a group of youths, police had said, adding no arrests were made.

DMK Working President M K Stalin had led a protest in Chennai yesterday in this regard as he targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi for allegedly not giving time for AIADMK MPs to discuss the Jallikattu issue.

On Friday, some Jallikattu supporters briefly picketed locale of the shooting of Tamil film “Garjanai”, starring Trisha, in Sivaganga district, angered by the actor’s pro-PETA stand.

However, Trisha, a known animal lover who has featured in PETA’s advertisement for adopting homeless dogs, was not present there at that time.

Police said all preventive steps have been taken to ensure maintenance of law and order and compliance of court’s ban.

(Feature image source: PTI)