Madurai: Uncertainty hangs over the conduct of jallikattu at Alanganallur on Sunday, whose village festival committee on Saturday evening dedicated the proposed event to the youth, even as local people refused to let the authorities inside the town. But the authorities are doubly keen to ensure the event takes place without any hitch.
Though the village festival committees of Alanganallur, Avaniyapuram and Palamedu have agreed to conduct the jallikattu following the ordinance promulgated by Tamil Nadu Governor enabling the sport, the people protesting at Alanganallur have opposed the move.
"Until the government finds a permanent solution for the conduct of jallikattu for every Pongal, we will not allow the event at Alanganallur," said the protesters who blocked the main road in the town preventing the collector Veera Raghava Rao and SP, Vijayendra S Bidari from inspecting the 'Vaadivasal (the entry point of bulls into the arena)'.
Mr. Veera Raghava Rao tried to pacify the agitators stating that the ordinance promulgated would enable for the conduct of jallikattu permanently. "According to the ordinance, the government can conduct jallikattu in all the notified villages. After Alanganallur, we will organise the event at Avaniyapuram and Palamedu in the coming week, which also got notified in Madurai district," The collector told reporters that though the Alanganallur Jallikattu Vizha (Festival) Committee and the villagers have agreed for the conduct of the event, it was the youths who were now opposing it.
"The government has brought in the ordinance respecting the sentiments of Tamil people. It is not right to oppose it," he said. Yet, thousands of villagers at the protest site refused to agree with the authorities' views.
Though the protesters tried to stall the arrangement made by district administration, the district collector Rao is to go ahead. "We will erect double barricades for eight feet in the bull catchment areas and around the gallery. As many as 17 animal husbandry teams have been formed to check the bulls' health and 20 medical teams to examine the bull tamers who participate in the event," he said.
At least11 '108 ambulance' service, 15 mobile medical teams and five fire engines would be deployed in the venue to attend to any emergency. Nearly 2,500 police personnel would be deployed for security and to help conduct the event peacefully.
As more number of people are expected to participate in the event, the authorities have decided to set up 15 LED screens at the venue.
After Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam held meeting with officials here late evening Saturday, state cooperation minister Sellur K. Raju and P.R. Rajasekaran, president of Jallikattu Pervaai have left to Alanganallur to convince protesters to give up agitation and facilitate conduct of the bull sport. “We are making efforts to make the people understand the ordinance and the legislation that will follow, so that they will cooperate in the conduct of jallikattu on Sunday,” said an official....