Whose side is Vishal on?

Jallikattu an NGO and a tax-raid Vishals statement countered with corruption charge
news Jallikattu Tuesday, June 07, 2016 - 18:58

Once again, the jallikattu controversy has come to the fore after actor Vishal finding himself under fire from jallikattu supporters for saying that he stood by the decision to follow the Supreme Court’s order banning the sport.

He made the statement in the context of accepting an award from the People for Cattle in India, an NGO which works for cattle welfare. Vishal was awarded for his active endorsement of animal causes and animal welfare issues. 

Jallikattu activists were visibly enraged at this statement. But another controversy was also brewing: social media was quick to question the actor sharing the stage with “a man with a questionable past”. 

Arun, who heads the People for Cattle in India, was reportedly caught in a tax raid in 2014. Many raised concerns over Vishal’s vested interests as a result. 

“I am far more concerned about what this organization has done for the rehabilitation of cattle bred primarily for Jalikattu. Have they pledged rehabilitation of the cattle? Their herders whose livelihood depends on them? Vishal should know better to associate himself with such people,” says Balakumar, a longtime Jallikattu activist. 

Speaking to The News Minute, Arun of People for Cattle in India said that there was no intention on Vishal’s part to endorse or condemn Jalikattu. “In his answer, he clearly says that he simply supports the Supreme Court’s order. He’s on the side of the Supreme Court. This does not mean he tacitly agrees.” 

As for the allegations of corruption, he says he was embroiled in a false case lodged against him by a person affiliated with the cattle mafia. “I was caught in a false case, and I have registered an FIR against this man. It is all a conspiracy of the cattle mafia. The money was planted and I was falsely accused,” he says. 

Vishal could not be reached for comment as he is shooting in Singapore.

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