The renowned Jallikattu bull-taming competition got underway on Sunday in the Tamil Nadu village of Avaniyapuram. Aneesh Sekhar, the district collector of Madurai, as saying that preparations had been made to ensure a successful Jallikattu. ensuring the players’ and bulls’ safety. Bulls are protected in the play area by three levels of barricading, as are spectators.
The Avaniyapuram event went on till 4 pm yesterday. Sekhar said security arrangements – including barricading and deployment over 2,000 police personnel and availability of ‘(the) best medical care’ – had been in place to ensure safe participation of bulls, participants and spectators. “We expect smooth conduct of Jallikattu,” he said.
“We expect no injuries. If injuries happen, we want to ensure that they are given the best medical care. So, all arrangements are in place. We expect smooth conduct of Jallikattu,” he added.
Earlier on January 15, at least 60 persons sustained injuries during the bull-taming event in Madurai. “Yesterday, we had around 60 injured people, 20 were a little serious and were referred to Rajaji Hospital. 40 others with minor injuries were given first aid,” Madurai District Collector Aneesh Sekhar had said.
As many as 737 bulls were released at the Avaniyapuram jallikattu, which saw the participation of 257 bull tamers who had provided RT-PCR negative reports and also a certificate that they were fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Nearly, 860 bulls were released from the Vadivasal at Palamedu where 335 tamers participated in the event on Monday.
As the bulls darted into the arena with ferocity, frenzied tamers vied with one another to grapple with the animals. The men refused to give up every time despite being outdone by the bulls.
Tamilarasan of Chinnapatti, who tamed 23 bulls, was adjudged the best tamer and was presented the first prize, a car. Mani of Palamedu, who tamed 19 bulls, won the second prize, a two-wheeler, while Raja of Palamedu, who tamed 15 bulls, won the third prize.
“I was inspired by my father who was a bull tamer and had trained under him from a young age,” Tamilarasan said.
Rengarajapuram Karuppanasamy Temple bull stole the show, as none of the tamers could succeed against it till the end of the day. A bull from Maanooththu owned by Ramesh was adjudged second.
The Jallikattu festival is considered a dangerous sport in which people injure themselves while trying to tame raging bulls. The winners are given two-wheelers, clothes, jewels, and money, and several youths participate in the Jallikattu events at various places in Tamil Nadu during the Pongal festival.
The injuries and even deaths did not seem to deter the enthusiasm of the dauntless tamers, who charged at the bulls every time they were released, with renewed vigour.
One person was gored to death and at least 34 others were injured as bulls ran amok. At least 10 of the 34 injured persons sustained grievous injuries.The deceased – identified as Arvindraj, a bull tamer, was admitted to Madurai’s Rajaji government hospital after being critically injured this morning. District collector Aneesh Sekhar said those badly injured were being treated in hospital.