In the backdrop of the pro-jallikattu protests turning violent in several parts of Tamil Nadu, People for Animals (PFA) has released a statement rubbishing reports that it has challenged the ordinance promulgated by the Governor.
The animal welfare organisation, the Chairperson of which is Minister for Women and Child Development Maneka Gandhi, said, "It is noticed that some news channels in Tamil Nadu have reported that the ordinance regarding jallikattu issued by the state government of Tamil Nadu has been challenged before the Supreme Court by People For Animals."
"It is hereby clarified that this news is not only false but also mischievous. It is being spread by some channels to mislead and misguide the people of Tamil Nadu. It may be noted by all concerned that no petition challenging the ordinance on jallikattu has been filed by People for Animals in the Supreme Court. All concerned are requested not to follow any rumours on this issue," it added.
Pro-jallikattu protestors at Chennai Marina beach last week; PTI
Maneka Gandhi, who has been a vocal animal rights campaigner, has of late been quiet on the issue of jallikattu.
Reports suggest that this could be because Gandhi has been asked by the central leadership to not speak on the subject as they do not want to ruffle feathers in Tamil Nadu anymore.
In the past however, Gandhi had criticised the bull-taming sport on at least two different occasions.
In 2015, the minister had called jallikattu a "western concept" and said that both animals and humans were killed in the sport. "Jallikattu tradition is western culture and BJP is against it. The Supreme Courtâ€™s decision to ban it is a welcome step," she said.
Jallikattu protest; PTI
During her visit to the state last year, Gandhi's statement terming jallikattu a "terrible fesival" irked several regional leaders. She even went on to state that the BJP did not need to resort to winning votes by supporting the sport.
"Jallikattu," she had said, "is a terrible festival, to be consigned to history it is not good, and the BJP has many many more important things to do. They should not try and get votes just through this. It is a very important party, and we have a role to play in Tamil Nadu. We have very intelligent people here, so we should look for good things to promote."
After nearly a week of peaceful protests demanding that the ban on jallikattu be revoked, the agitation in various parts of Tamil Nadu grew tense on Monday.
This happened after police appealed to people to stop protests and started evicting them.
The protests had refused to die down even after an emergency ordinance was passed lifting the ban on jallikattu, and the state government has, since then, been asking the protesters to disperse.
In many places, the protesters refused to leave stating that they will not budge till a permanent solution is brought to the problem and the PCA Act is amended.
On Monday, the police force was deployed to disperse the crowds. Instances of lathicharge and arrests have been reported from different parts of the state.