INDIA: 20 lakh join in, Jallikattu set for tomorrow

INDIA: 20 lakh join in, Jallikattu set for tomorrow

CHENNAI: After a gap of two years, Jallikattu bulls will charge through the famed vadivasal – the passage that leads to the arena – with the State government moving swiftly on the ordinance to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act while its administrative machinery is making arrangements to prepare the popular venues like Alanganallur ready to host the event.

“Vadivasal will be opened for Jallikattu through which the bulls will charge,” said chief minister O Panneerselvam at the Chennai airport where he landed after a two-day visit to the national capital. When a scribe asked if he would inaugurate the event, a smiling Panneerselvam paused for a moment and replied, “It all will happen as per your wish.”

The draft is ready, and has been sent to the Union home, environment and forests ministries, from where it will be referred to the office of the President Pranab Mukherjee by evening. Before being promulgated, the ordinance requires the assent of the President, who is away in Kolkata. “As the President is likely to return only by tonight, the ordinance will be promulgated tomorrow or the day after,” said the chief minister, adding that the government will take all legal steps to tackle any hurdle that may crop up.

However, this assurance and his appeal to withdraw the agitations have not calmed the thousands across the State who continued their sit-ins for yet another day. The youth at its most popular protest site Marina Beach in Chennai and the renowned Jallikattu hub Alanganallur in Madurai refused to disperse till the ordinance is actually introduced.