Tamil Nadu government on Wednesday gave a nod for conducting the annual Jallikattu sport which is normally held after the Pongal festival amid rising Covid-19 cases. Only 300 participants will be allowed to participate, the government statement read.
Usually, thousands of youths take part and try to control bulls but this time the participants will be limited. “While in Jallikattu and Manjuvirattu (another type of bull sport), 300 participants will be allowed to take part, in Eruthuvarattu only 150 will be allowed to participate,” the statement read.
“All these sports must be held only in open grounds and 50% of the total capacity of visitors alone will be allowed to watch the sport. All visitors will be checked with thermal scanners, must wear masks compulsorily and follow physical distancing,” it added.
The government has also directed that all participants must go through Covid tests and a negative result certificate will be submitted as a prerequisite for participation in the annual festival.
In Tamil Nadu, Alanganallur Jallikattu near Madurai is world-famous with visitors coming from various states and countries. Other places that are famous for Jallikattu are Palamedu, small village panchayats in Madurai and other southern districts.
It was in 2017, a month after Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa passed away, there was a huge protest on the Marina sands from January 8 to 23 asking the government to allow Jallikattu. Following the protest, the then Chief Minister O Pannerselvam (present Deputy CM ) went to New Delhi and got an order from the Centre to allow the sport. The protests ended with police firing and violence in some parts of Chennai.