Even as the Pongal festival comes to an end in Tamil Nadu, the aggressive protests against the ban on Jallikattu have not ended, with about 300 protesters refusing to leave the spot of protest in Alanganallur in Madurai. Protesters sat in dharna, stating that they will not leave until the police allowed Jallikattu to happen.
They lit candles and sat huddled in a large group, even as hundreds of policemen stood guard around them.
Alanganallur, the village that holds one the most popular Jallikattu events every year, witnessed unprecedented protests on Monday. The morning saw thousands of protesters gather at the Vaadivasal, the entry into the Jallikattu arena. Even as police lathicharged protesters during the day and seized bulls, preventing them from holding jallikattu, several protesters stayed back, refusing to leave.
Around 300 protesters, including women and senior citizens, are at the protest spot.
The protesters consisted mainly of people from other districts like Chennai, Namakkal and Dindugul, with few being locals.
Through the day, police asked the protesters to disperse, but they refused. A few youngsters who tried to release the bulls ended up clashing with the police. Police officers also used loud speakers to make announcements to the gathered crowd. They asked them to leave as the traffic in the area was getting disrupted, but the crowd made it clear that they would not leave till the government opened the vaadivaasal and allowed Jallikattu to happen. Many people from Alanganallur village too joined the protest. As night fell, villagers were seen distributing bananas and biscuits to the protesters.
Police have locked down the entire area, not allowing anyone from outside to join the protesters. Many protesters, fearing that they might not be allowed back into the village, have decided to stay put there.