Madurai: The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami and Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Tuesday flagged off the world famous 'jallikattu' at Alanganallur amidst thousands of people gathered from various parts of the state to witness the event.
While it is probably for the first time a Chief Minister is formally inaugurating the bull-taming spot at Alanganallur, the villagers and spectators were disappointed due to tight police security. Even the foreign tourists had tough time reaching the gallery arranged for them.
Panneerselvam has reason to be jubilant today as he was not allowed to inaugurate the 'jallikattu' at Alanganallur last year by the protesters.
He was then Chief Minister. The event was held only after the state government passed the 'Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act (Tamil Nadu) Act, 2017'.
Around 8 am, the bull tamers gathered in the arena near the Vadivasal. The Chief Minister read the oath stating that native bulls need to be preserved and tamers should not cause harm to the bulls. The district collector Mr Veera Raghava Rao and SP, Manivannan were also present. And the event started after the temple bulls passed through the arena and some tamers worshipped them.
Feeling excited in watching tamers show their valour taming the bulls in the arena, the Chief Minister in his address said, “the owners raise their bulls like their children.” Palaniswami further added that he got firsthand experience on how the event was organised without harming the bull.
Mr Palaniswami also announced cars as prizes for the best tamer and best bull in the event. While Tamer Ajay from Alanganallur received 'Hyundai Eon' by taming eight bulls in the event, bull owner Santosh from Milakaranai received a 'Renault Kwid' on behalf of the best performing bulls. Sangilimurugan Kutti from Meikkeipatti secured second place while Sarathkumar from Vallalapatti and Vinoth Raj from Madurai won third place. The authorities also awarded certificates for eight more best performing bulls in the event.
Palaniswami and Panneerselvam waited until 9.30 am to witness the bull 'Komban' of Health and Family Welfare minister C Vijaya Baskar to enter the arena, but they left because of delay in releasing his bull. As many as 571 bulls were in the field and the event timing was extended up to 5 pm.
Earlier, Mr. Palaniswami also inaugurated a photo-exhibition on 'jallikattu' at Alanganallur. As police had tightened security and diverted movement of vehicles due to Chief Minister's visit, many people could not reach the gallery at the venue in time.