MADURAI: The Pongal season’s first Jallikattu event is set to be flagged off at Avaniyapuram on Wednesday with 1,500 police personnel providing the security blanket. Over 50,000 spectators are expected to gather in Madurai district to witness the annual sport.
Around 700 bulls and 730 bull-tamers are expected to participate in the back-to-back events, which will also be held at Palamedu and Alanganallur, on January 16 and 17 respectively.
The run-up to this season’s Jallikattu event has hit several roadblocks beginning with the tussle between two groups of organising committees on who would conduct the events. In Avaniapuram, the Village Committee had locked horns with Thenkal Pasana Vivasayigal Sangam, following which the district collector TG Vinay ordered that the event be jointly organized.
Unhappy with the collector’s directions, the rival factions approached the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court. The court then ordered that a separate joint committee comprising members of both the groups, presided by retired Principal District judge C Manickam, will monitor all the three Jallikattu events.
But the impasse continued as a group has filed a special leave petition in the Supreme Court, to against the HC order. The SC would hear the matter on Wednesday. The civic body along with district administration, Animal Husbandry, Health, Revenue and Police Departments have ensured that basic amenities are available at all the venues.
No Rekla race
Organisers and participants of the Rekla Race which is held in Thirukadaiyur are a disappointed lot after Madras High Court banned the event this year
Medical teams, formed to screen bulls as well as bull-tamers, have distributed tokens to the owners and participants. As bulls from various districts started arriving at the venue from Tuesday, arrangements have been made to station them as per the token order.