MADURAI: The jallikattu in Alanganallur got off to a flying start on Tuesday after Udhayanidhi Stalin, Minister for Youth Welfare and Sports Development, flagged off the event at 8 am, in the presence of Minister for Commercial Taxes and Registration P Moorthy, Minister for Finance and Human Resources Management PTR Palanivel Thiaga Rajan, School Education Minister Anbil Mahesh Poyyamozhi, Collector S Aneesh Sekhar and SK Mittal, Member, Animal Welfare Board of India.
As many as 825 registered bulls, including the one belonging to former minister C Vijaya Baskar and comedian-actor Soori, were let loose in 10 rounds through the vadivasal. A total of 465 registered tamers tried their luck during the event. In the middle of the event, a row erupted between a few participants of the sport and bull owners over taming the animals. Policemen on duty intervened and chased them out of the arena.
Totally, 44 persons, including tamers and bull owners, were injured and16 of them were sent to Government Rajaji Hospital, Madurai. According to Regional Joint Director of Animal Husbandry, Madurai, P Nataraja Kumar, 16 bulls were rejected from participation, after the screening process.
Being his first visit to the traditional sport in Alanganallur, after becoming the Minister for Sports Development, Udhayanidhi replying to a query on whether government job would be provided to a family member of Aravindraj (24), a tamer, who was gored to death by a bull at Palamedu on Monday, told reporters that Chief Minister MK Stalin would take a decision and make an announcement in this regard. Earlier on his arrival, he was accorded a grand welcome by the party cadre.
Abi Sithar from Poovanthi of Sivaganga district, who tamed 26 bulls, was awarded the first prize - a car offered by Chief Minister Stalin. Sithar was injured during the event. While Ajay of Enathi village, Sivaganga district, a relative of Sithar, tamed 20 bulls and bagged the second prize, Ranjith of Alanganallur tamed 12 and secured a podium finish.
On the other hand, an untamed bull owned by ‘Kaikurichi’ Tamilselvan of Pudukkottai district got first prize - a car sponsored by Minister Udhayanidhi, MS Suresh, a bull owner of Pudukkottai bagged the second prize and Pattani Raja won the third prize in the same category.
Later, Minister Moorthy extended solatium of Rs 3 lakh under CM’s Public Relief Fund to the family of Aravindraj, who died in action at the Palamedu jallikattu. Besides, a solatium of Rs 2 lakh contributed jointly by the Minister along with Sholavandan MLA A Venkatesan to the victim’s family on the occasion.
Spectator dies in Siravayal
Meanwhile, Boominathan, a 57-year-old spectator and a resident of Melur, Madurai district, reportedly hit by a bull during a ‘manjuvirattu’ organised at Siravayal in Sivagangai district on Tuesday, died.
Initially, the injured victim was administered first aid at Tirupattur and referred to Karaikudi GH, where he was declared dead. However, officials denied that the victim was hit by a bull.