Lokesh has suffered 80% burns and his condition is known to be critical.

Teen electrocuted after climbing train at rail roko still others continue with unsafe protestPhotos by Piyush Manush via Facebook
news Jallikattu Friday, January 20, 2017 - 13:09

Over the past four days, Tamil Nadu has witnessed unprecedented protest in favour of jallikattu, but what has stood out is their peaceful nature. However, breaking that trend in an unfortunate accident, a 16-year-old boy was injured on Thursday, after being electrocuted in a rail roko protest at Salem.  

According to a Facebook post by Piyush Manush, an entrepreneur and activist, Lokesh fell from atop a train he was protesting on. “He had joined the group that blocked the train near Salem GH diverting from the protest site for two days. He has suffered 80% burns & his condition is very critical. His mother Pushpa in the GH could not make much sense of what went wrong,” Piyush wrote.

But the tragedy has not stopped many others from emulating the same mode of protest. On Friday too, hundreds of young agitators assembled in the area, climbed on to a train and continued the blockage.

Protesters, most of who seem to be young men, continued the agitation. On 9.15am on Friday, Manush posted another set of photos, which showed unrelenting protesters climbing on trains in large numbers and creating a blockade in the surrounding areas. In one picture, three policemen can be seen standing on the side of a train as well.

By 9am, the train had already been blocked for over 20 hours, Piyush wrote that the authorities had not taken appropriate steps to mitigate the situation. And despite Lokesh’s accident, Manush wrote that the lack of action by the police to restore law and order was encouraging the rail roko.

Chennai is witnessing a near total shutdown as all modes of transport were hit with workers on strike. Retailers, private taxi operators, auto rickshaw drivers, among others also declared they will not work on Friday to support jallikattu.

These protests continue despite Chief Minister O Panneerselvam announcing on Friday morning that a draft ordinance allowing jallikattu was ready and that protesters should withdraw their agitation.