Police evict Jallikattu protesters in Tamil Nadu

Chennai, Jan 23 Nearly a week after watching on the sidelines the Jallikattu protest on the Marina Beach and in other places in the state, the Tamil Nadu Police on Monday morning started evicting the protesters.

Jallikattu is a popular bull-taming sport of Tamil Nadu.

The police action came on the day when the state assembly was set to meet here.

The police physically pulled out the protesters who were sitting at the protest venue.

The scene reminded of a ‘tug-of-war’ game but without ropes as protesters held back the colleagues who were being pulled out by the police.

In Coimbatore, police-women and -men, pounced on a protestor who stood up with a kerosene canister and threatened to self-immolate. They were successful in taking away the inflammable liquid.

The eviction comes a day after the state government organised Jallikattu in several places following the promulgation of an ordinance enabling the same.

Not satisfied with that, the protesters demanded a “permanent” solution, that is, amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act by the central government taking out bulls from the list of performing animals.

The police arrived at the Marina Beach on Sunday night.

On Monday morning they urged the protesters to vacate Marina which was not heeded to.

Following that the police started their eviction process by physically lifting the protesters.

The police also baton charged the crowd. However, women and children were spared and removed safely.

The protesters ran towards the sea, stood there holding hands and shouted slogans.

The routes to Marina Beach have now been cordoned off.

The police has asked the protesters in other parts of the state to disperse. Agreeing to the request protesters in Tirunelveli district have decided to call off the protests.

In Madurai, however, the protesters have decided to continue with their agitations. Although, talks are still on between them and the police.

After the promulgation of the ordinance P. Rajasekhar, president of the Jallikattu Pathukaapu Peravai appealed to the protesters to call off their agitation.

‘Hip-Hop Tamizha’ Adhi a rap musician whose song support of Jallikattu attracted the protesters also distanced himself from the protest as it was progressing in a different direction, he said.

While the protesters anger is severe against the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) across the state, in most of the protest venues there were slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam.

Some of the placards held by few protesters were vulgar and indecent and there were also placards demanding separate Tamil land.

Further, thousands of regular commuters have been facing inconvenience due to cancellation of trains and termination ahead of destination owing to protests on rail tracks.

On Monday the Southern Railways announced full cancellation of 16 trains and partial cancellation of seven trains.

“Around 40,000 passengers are affected daily due to disruption in train services. Many passengers may be travelling to attend interviews, join duty or even for health reasons,” a senior Southern Railway official preferring anonymity told.

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