Jallikattu: Two gored to death in bull-taming festival

The incident took place a day after a ban on the controversial sport, known as Jallikattu, was overturned.

    Jallikattu: Two gored to death in bull-taming festival
    Jallikattu is an ancient sporting event of the Tamils during the Pongal festive season [M. Lakshman/AP]

    Two men have been gored to death in a bull-taming festival event in southern India, a day after authorities temporarily lifted a ban on the traditional event.

    Up to 90 people were also injured on Sunday as rampaging bulls sprinted through Rapoosal, a village in the state of Tamil Nadu.

    The sport, known as Jallikattu, was banned by India's top court banned it in 2014 on grounds of animal cruelty.

    Yet, the government on Saturday passed an executive order to temporarily overturn the ban following week-long protests, and Jallikattu events were subsequently held in towns and villages across Tamil Nadu.

    The annual bull-taming festival is marked during the harvest festival of Pongal [AP Photo]

    But thousands have continued to protest and refused to celebrate the festival, saying they want a permanent lifting of the court ban and not just a temporary order.

    Police on Monday morning tried to evict proponents of the sport who were protesting on Marina Beach in the state capital, Chennai.

    The protesters said they will not disperse until the ban was permanently lifted.

    Clashes were reported at the site and protesters set a police vehicle on fire, broadcaster NDTV reported.

    Residents in Tamil Nadu say Jallikattu is a crucial part of their culture and identity [AP/Arun Sankar]

    Protests also took place in other parts of the state, including the city Madurai.

    Jallikattu involves releasing a bull into a crowd of people who attempt to grab it and ride it. 

    Animal rights activists have long opposed the activity, pointing to the injuries it causes to bulls, as well as human deaths.

    Supporters say the sport is part of local tradition and heritage and deny it is cruel to animals. 

    SOURCE: News agencies


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