Chennai/Madurai: Two people were killed and at least 50 injured in Pudukottai during Jallikattu, which was conducted in various parts of Tamil Nadu on Sunday. However, protests at Alanganallur in Madurai, where people demanded a "permanent solution", forced Chief Minister O Panneerselvam to leave for Chennai without inaugurating the bull-taming sport.
A 48-year-old protester also died due to dehydration in Madurai city when he was taking part in a demonstration along with students and youths.
The traditional sport, which was banned by the Supreme Court, was organised in several parts of the state, including Rapoosal in Pudukottai district following promulgation of the Ordinance on Saturday. Police said two persons were killed and 28 injured when they were gored by a bull during Jallikattu at Rapoosal in which several bulls were used and many bull tamers participated.
Protesters at Alanganallur in Madurai, however, refused to conduct the sport, steadfast in their demand for a "permanent solution" to ensure unhindered annual conduct of the sport. Panneerselvam, who had announced that he would inaugurate Jallikattu at Alanganallur, had to stay back in a hotel in Madurai following the stir there.
Later, he was expected to inaugurate Jallikattu at Natham Kovilpatti in Dindigul. However, there were protests there too, raising the same demand.
At the Marina beach, epicentre of the stir for the last six days, protesters continued to stay put demanding a permanent solution for holding the sport besides a ban on animal rights group PETA, which also came under fire from actor Kamal Haasan.
"PETA go ban bull riding rodeos in Mr Trump's US You're not qualified to tackle our bulls," he said in a tweet. Actors Suriya and Vijay have also supported the protest by the students and lashed out at PETA for opposing the bull-taming sport.
PETA go ban bull riding rodeos in Mr.Trump's U.S. You're not qualified to tackle our bulls. Empires have been made to quit India.— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) January 22, 2017
American areated drink makers might be tempted to sponser jallikattu. Beware— Kamal Haasan (@ikamalhaasan) January 22, 2017
Speaking to reporters at Madurai before leaving for Chennai, Panneerselvam said, "The ban on Jallikattu has been removed completely, the sport will be held at Alanganallur, on a date decided by local people."
He said Jallikattu was held in all parts of Tamil Nadu with the local administration and police taking all stipulated measures.
With protesters demanding a permanent solution for holding the sport and raising slogans that Ordinance was only a temporary measure, Panneerselvam said, "The state's Jallikattu Ordinance route is permanent, robust and sustainable, will be made into a law in the coming Assembly session."
Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government filed a caveat in the Supreme anticipating challenge to its Ordinance allowing Jallikattu in the state.
Following unrelenting protests, DMK and other Opposition parties urged the Centre to take steps for conducting the sport annually without any hindrance.
DMK working president M K Stalin urged the chief minister to hold talks with protesters and "stop insisting" that the Ordinance route will yield permanent results.
BJP leader and Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan urged the protesters to withdraw their agitation across the state, including on the Marina Beach.
He said Prime Minister Narendra Modi had "explained" the legal situation in this regard but fully backed the state's efforts to hold the bull taming sport.
As pro-Jallikattu protests continued, many inter and intra-state trains were cancelled fully or partially as has been the case for the past three days.
(With PTI inputs)