Jallikattu protests in Alanganallur took a sudden turn on Monday morning, as protesters were faced with a police lathicharge following dissension among them.
The chain of events began with the police appealing to the people to stop the protests. The protesting men were gathered in the centre with a human chain of women protesters formed around them. At the time, both protesters and the police were maintaining peace.
Trouble began however, when a meeting of the village committee, which resolved to hold jallikattu in the village in the coming days. Not all protesters were welcoming of the decision. Even as a village leader began making a speech announcing the decision to hold jallikattu, others started opposing it. They raised flags made from towels and began raising slogans of â€śVande Mataramâ€ť and â€śSaare Jahan Se Achaâ€ť.
With dissension among protesters appearing, the police moved in to disperse the protesters. The protesters. Even as they were being dragged away, protesters continued raising slogans of Vande Mataram. However, some protesters fainted in the melee. Fortunately for them, they were encircled by a group of women who protected them.
Eventually, the police resorted to a mild lathicharge, which prompted villagers herded at one end to pelt stones back at the police. At this point, the police returned with shields and intensified the lathicharge. While some protesters were injured, the situation was finally brought under control by the police following the lathicharge.
Alanganallur, which had been the spark that set off the jallikattu fire in Tamil Nadu last week, had once again emerged to the forefront on the weekend when it refused entry to Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. OPS was heading to Alanganallur to flag off the jallikattu there after the government rushed through an ordinance removing the ban on jallikattu.
However, the protesting villagers had blockaded the main roads leading to the village and had also blocked off the vaadivasal in the village, refusing to allow jallikattu to take place until the government offered a permanent solution. Despite repeated attempts by the District Collector to convince the villagers to let the event proceed, the villagers had refused to budge through Sunday.