MADURAI: The spectacular Pongal season started with the traditional Jallikattu sport, amidst COVID, in Avaniyapuram on Thursday, in which 523 bulls were unleashed from the Vadivaasal.
The sport was flagged of by Minister of Co-operation Sellur K Raju, district Collector T Anbalagan, Commissioner of Police Prem Anand Sinha, Corporation Commissioner S Visakan and MLAs Rajan Chellappa, Dr Saravanan, at 8 am in the morning.
The tamers and the organisers of the event took vow before commencing the sport. Double barricades with fencing were erected from the Vadivaasal covering the whole arena.
Out of 824 bulls screened, 523 bulls were unleashed to play and a total of 398 tamers participated in the Jallikattu which was conducted in eight rounds. 50 tamers were allowed to play in a round.
During the event, two tamers who were allowed to play inside the arena raised slogans against the Farm Bills and waved black flags even as Congress President Rahul Gandhi reached the venue to witness the sport.
The police immediately removed the duo from the arena and the duo was taken away for enquiry.
Meanwhile, in the bull check point behind the Vadivaasal, an altercation broke between the bull owners and two bull owners, Arun Kumar and Deivendiran, were stabbed with a knife by a young boy and the duo was taken to the hospital.
At Avaniyapuram, in the first Jallikattu of the season nearly 58 tamers were injured in which 12 tamers were referred to Rajaji Government hospital. Minor injuries were treated by the mobile medical teams which was placed near the arena.
At the end of the Jallikattu, two tamers, Thirunavukarasu from Muthupatti and Vijayan from Avaniyapuram shared the first prize and won a bike sponsored by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi. The duo tamed 26 bulls each and were declared as winners.
The bull raised by GR Karthik of Villapuram won the best bull prize of Avaniyapuram Jallikattu.
Further gold coins, vessels, cycles, furnitures, cash prizes etc., were awarded to the tamers and the bull owners during each rounds.
More than 1200 police were deployed in the city ahead of Rahul Gandhi visit and Jallikattu. The event was live telecasted in a big screen around the venue, which facilitated the public to witness the event.