Jallikattu begins at Palamedu, 66 injured

Amid scores of spectators, jallikattu got off to a colourful start at Palamedu village in Vadipatti taluk, Madurai on Thursday. The event began at 8 am, under the watch of the court monitor.
Jallikattu begins at Palamedu, 66 injured
(Left) A bull and tamers engaged in a tussle fight and (Right) another bull flung a tamer out

Madurai

Ahead of the jallikattu schedule since January 15, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court constituted an ‘Organizing Committee’ with C Manikam, Retired Principal District Judge, as Chairman.

With all their eyes set on humps of bulls, tamers, who eagerly awaited close to ‘vadivasal’, the passage through which bulls were allowed to run through arena, pounced on running bulls and made valiant attempts to hold the hump. While performing their heroic deeds of taming the bulls, as many as 66 persons suffered injuries.

Among those injured, 37 were tamers and the rest were identified as bull owners and spectators. While most of them suffered minor injuries, nine injured victims were rushed to Government Hospital, sources said. A total of 733 bulls from various districts and 730 tamers registered for the event at Palamedu. After examining, eight bulls and three tamers were rejected. Finally, as many as 641 bulls passed through the ‘vadivasal’ and 610 tamers displayed their talents during nine rounds of the event which went on till evening.

Earlier, the jallikattu was inaugurated by Minister for Revenue and Disaster Management RB Udhayakumar in the presence of the Organizing Committee Chairman, Madurai Collector TG Vinay and South Zone Inspector General of Police KP Shanmuga Rajeswaran. At the valedictory function, Prabakaran, a tamer from Pothumbu village, Madurai, hogged the limelight after having tamed a total of 16 bulls and bagged the first prize. The committee offered the winner a car as prize. Raja, another tamer from Ayyappan Nayakkanpatti, got the second prize, sources said.

Now, all eyes are on Alanganallur, which earned fame globally for the sport of jallikattu, which is scheduled on Friday (January 17). According to V Balaji, vice president, Jallikattu Vizha Committee, said galleries were set up exclusively for spectators, VIPs and media personnel. The galleries could accommodate around five thousand spectators, he added.
It’s elephant Pongal at jumbo rejuvenation camp
Even as ‘Mattu Pongal’ dedicated to cattle was celebrated across Tamil Nadu as part of the harvest festival, elephants too got the taste and feel of the celebrations near here on Thursday. The ‘Elephant Pongal’ was celebrated at the rejuvenation camp near Mettupalayam in Coimbatore district, where 28 elephants from temple and mutts across the state were being provided the much-needed rest.
The animals were given a shower in the river Bhavani and decorated with flowers. Sugarcane, bananas and coconuts and, of course, sweet pongal were offered to the elephants. The mahouts and other staff taking care of the elephants at the camp were presented new dhotis and towels, as part of the festivities. The Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department and the Forest Department organised the ‘Elephant Pongal.’ 

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