MADURAI: The Supreme Court’s interim stay on the central government’s notification allowing Jallikattu has come as a rude shock to the people of southern districts.
The shock translated into protests in Avaniapuram, Alanganallur and Palamedu where the Madurai district administration has been making all arrangements in full swing to continue with the tradition of conducting the ancient sport of Tamils after a break of one year caused due to the top court’s ban.
As soon as the television channels broke the news on the interim stay on the centre’s notification that paved the way for holding the sport, a large number of people from Alanganallur that is internationally-renowned for Jallikattu and surrounding villages spilled on to the main road and blocked traffic for three hours. All the shops on the road downed the shutters.
Three youth, dejected over the SC ban on the sport, were said to have attempted self-immolation in different places around Madurai. The youth were identified as Manikandan from Alanganallur and Prem and Mahalingam from Othakadai. Police said they doused themselves with kerosene but were prevented from lighting the fire. They were let off after a warning.
Over 500 persons led by Geetha Balaji, the chairperson of Alanganallur town panchayat, observed a fast. In Palamedu, another hot seat for Jallikattu, some enthusiasts tonsured their heads protesting the stay on the notification and the continuance of the ban on the cultural sport.
Many farmers and bull rearers staged a road roko along with their bulls at Narayanapuram.