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Jallikattu Ban: Panneerselvam to Call on PM Today as Protests Intensify

A bull jumps over villagers during a Jallikattu event in Madurai REUTERS/Babu)

A bull jumps over villagers during a Jallikattu event in Madurai REUTERS/Babu)

Amid intensifying protests across Tamil Nadu for Jallikattu, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Wednesday said he would call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday seeking an immediate promulgation of an ordinance to allow the sport and appealed to protesters to end agitations.

Chennai: Amid intensifying protests across Tamil Nadu for Jallikattu, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Wednesday said he would call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday seeking an immediate promulgation of an ordinance to allow the sport and appealed to protesters to end agitations.

"Tomorrow morning I will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urge him to promulgate an ordinance to conduct Jallikattu. Hence, I appeal to all protesters to give up their agitations," the Chief Minister said.

He assured the agitators that the Tamil Nadu government would continue to make all efforts to conduct Jallikattu.

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His assurance came after thousands of youths converged on Marina Beach here demanding a personal assurance from him that the sport would be held.

Panneerselvam said the Tamil Nadu government "is on the same page" with the people of the state on the issue.

"The democratic protests by students and people to uphold our rights and guard our culture are expressive of our feelings (on Jallikattu)," he said.

However, to conduct Jallikattu, the Supreme Court should give a favourable verdict, he said.

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If the sport was to be held before such a verdict was given, "only the central government has the powers to bring in an amendment to facilitate that," he said.

AIADMK chief VK Sasikala said the party will move and adopt a resolution in Assembly for the removal of the ban on Jallikattu.

Several big names from Tamil Nadu, particularly its film industry, have also come out in support of holding the sport.

"Law was not created to rob people off their tradition and rights but to protect it. Jallikattu is every Tamilian's identity. Those who are protesting against the ban on Jallikattu are united by the feeling that they are Tamilians but not out of compulsion or political pressure. I bow down to each and every one of them," actor Vijay said in a video message. "I'd be really happy if those arrested are released immediately," he said.

Actor Suriya lashed out at animal rights advocacy group PETA, which is aggressively campaigning against Jallikattu. "It's in the people's court. This is for the people, by the people. Youngsters have come out without any instigation. This is a people's movement," he said.

Actor Vijay said: “I salute every single protester who have come together irrespective of politics party or other differences.”

Actor GV Prakash, singer-lyricist Arunraja Kamaraj and filmmaker Karthik Subbaraj joined supporters on ground on Tuesday.

(With PTI inputs)