Central minister hopeful of holding Jallikattu next month

Chennai, Dec 24 (IANS) Union Minister of State for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping Pon Radhakrishnan is hopeful of getting the necessary permission to conduct Tamil Nadu’s Jallikattu traditional bull taming sport during next month’s Pongal festival.

Radhakrishnan, in a letter to DMK president M. Karunanidhi on December 23, said: “Based on the talks held for the past one month I have gained confidence that permission would be obtained to hold Jallikattu during the Pongal festival falling coming January.”

According to Radhakrishnan, on December 22 Union Minister of State for Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar held a meeting with officials of the concerned department and explored the options for holding Jallikattu.

Radhakrishnan also thanked all the political parties that have demanded holding of Jallikattu again in Tamil Nadu.

On December 22 Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to promulgate an ordinance so that Jallikattu or bull taming sport could be held in the state during Pongal festival next month.

Jayalalithaa noted that the Supreme Court had in May 2014 upheld a notification by the environment and forests ministry categorizing bulls in the list of animals which shall not be exhibited or trained as performing animals.

“The Supreme Court consequently ruled that bulls cannot be used as performing animals for Jallikattu events.”

However, the Tamil Nadu government filed a review petition before the Supreme Court which was pending, she said.

The sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu, who have a deep attachment to the traditional Jallikattu event, have to be honoured, the chief minister added.

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