Jallikattu brings festive spirit to Palamedu

Four days after Avaniyapuram witnessed a high-spirited jallikattu, the next such big event in Madurai district was held at the renowned Palamedu village after a gap of two years. While the event did not witness any untoward incident except the collapse of two galleries, two successful tamers rode home Royal Enfield bullets.
A youngster attempting to tame a raging bull in Palamedu
A youngster attempting to tame a raging bull in Palamedu

Madurai

The event began as usual with bull tamers taking pledge that they will follow all the rules laid by the government and not harm the bulls. The pledge was administered by Madurai Collector K Veera Raghava Rao, following which six temple bulls were let out through vadivasal, as per tradition, before the beginning of the actual sport. Bulls raised by individuals ran through the Vadivasal and the bull tamers actively participated. In total, 354 bulls and 1,525 took part in the historic event. 
According to the Palamedu Jallikattu Organising Committee, every prize given to tamers was worth at least Rs 5,000. Similarly, owners of the untamed bulls too won their share of prizes. The commentary on the details of the bulls and the bull tamers was lively and the people cheered when some of the famous bulls were mentioned. 
The bull tamers who had turned out in large numbers were separated into various teams and t-shirts of different colours were given for them. For every two hours, 200 bull tamers were allowed to enter the arena. Those who tamed maximum bulls in a round were retained for the next round. Three bull tamers managed to stay in the ring from the start till the very last round. 
Two successful bull tamers — Karuppannan from Arittapatti and Anbu Sivan from Virattipatti — were gifted with Royal Enfield Bullets at the end of the fest at 4 pm. Later, Collector informed the media that the event went off peacefully with no major untoward incident. He said the event was organised in coordination with a number of government departments. 
The Palamedu Jallikattu Organising Committee thanked the youngsters, students and women who had protested for them at various parts of the state and made jallikattu a reality after two years. Even protesters who had protested at Marina beach had appreciated the Collector and police in giving permission and honoured the officials. The next big jallikattu will be held in Alanganallur today.
The gallery of prizes for the winners
Galleries collapse injuring audience
Though jallikattu at Palamedu was largely incident-free, it was marred by shoddy arrangements particularly due to the inferior quality of the galleries. In fact, two galleries collapsed injuring the media persons.  It is said that Revenue officials set up a two-tiered gallery on top of a tractor. Since a large number of people climbed on the second tier of the gallery, it collapsed. A media cameraman who was standing on top of the gallery fell down and sustained injuries. Policemen deployed to control the spectators were busy watching jallikattu and let large number of people to stand on another weak gallery which too collapsed. Following the mishaps, the police personnel started evicting the people from the spot.

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