Though a police official confirmed that Mathiazhagan was not suspended, he said the constable had been given punishment three months ago.

Remember TN cop who made rousing speech at jallikattu protest Hes in troublePuthiya Thalaimurai screengrab
news Jallikattu protests Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 14:19

He was hailed as a hero for his electrifying speech during the jallikattu protests in Chennai’s Marina Beach in January. But 11 months later, it has emerged that constable Mathiazhagan, belonging to the Armed Reserve Police, faced disciplinary action for his rousing speech, reported The New Indian Express. This despite senior police officers at the time promising that no action would be initiated against him.

A senior IPS officer speaking to TNM said, “A man in uniform is not allowed to participate in protests. A charge memo was handed over to him in April, cautioning him. He was given punishment three months ago.” He, however, observed that Mathiazhagan was not suspended.

Picking up the mic at Marina Beach, where protests in support of the bull taming sport had raged on for over a week, Mathiazhagan told demonstrators that he was participating in the agitation as he understood the seriousness of the issue. During his three-minute long speech, the constable from Ramanathapuram hit out at the Centre for not understanding how emotive the issue was for Tamilians.

In his speech, he said: “If we let the bull that has been with us for thousands of years die, how can we say we're Tamilians? There are babies in this world who have not had mother's milk, but are there any babies in this world who have not had cow's milk? They keep saying farmer-farmer… this is an issue that's important to the farmers. Is a government that doesn't understand a government at all? What is natural farming? The farmer prepares the land with water and cow dung. But now how will he do farming? The soil has been killed by the usage of artificial chemicals. Next, they're going to kill the cows by stopping jallikattu. 

“We're begging for water from the neighbouring state. The farmer is dying of debt because he doesn't have water for cultivation. What is your answer to all this? There are many police personnel like me in this crowd: people wearing uniforms who have the desire to speak out about this like I have. There are many cops who didn't go home last night and sleep, but have worn civil dress and remained in this crowd. I have come on their behalf also. I agree that the police have so far never participated in such protests. But I've participated now because I understand the seriousness of this issue and I want action to be taken.”

The protests in Marina Beach, launched by a group of youngsters, gained momentum with thousands joining in to demand that the Supreme Court imposed ban on jallikattu be revoked. Following the agitations, the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a bill allowing the traditional sport.


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