As the Pongal festival draws to a close, two men — the owner of a bull and an audience member — died during the Jallikattu event in Madurai’s Alanganallur on Friday. Over 30 were injured in the event, with nine of them being taken to the Madurai Rajaji Government General Hospital for treatment.
According to reports, the deceased men have been identified as Sridhar from Sholavandan and Chellapandi from Chekkanurani. Sridhar owned a bull, which participated in the event on Friday. During the event, he was hit by his own bull and was killed. Chellapandi, who was at Alanganallur to watch the event, fainted in the gallery. Though he was administered First Aid at the Primary Healthcare Centre and referred to another hospital, he died on the way.
The event is the last one among the holy trinity of Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu, the other two being Avaniapuram and Palamedu. This year, 739 bulls participated in Alanganallur Jallikattu with 695 participants trying to tame them and win prizes. The first prize for the participant who tames the highest number of bulls and the best bull in the event was one car each. The second and third prizes in the event were motorbike and Rs 10,000 in cash.
This year the first prize was awarded to Ranjith Kumar from Alanganallur, who came in at the ninth round of the event and tamed 16 bulls. Apart from a Hyundai Santro car, the government also announced that he will be awarded four cows worth Rs 7 lakh. The second prize of a motorbike was won by Karthik from Alagarkoil, who tamed 14 bulls and the third prize was grabbed by Ganesan from Arittampatti, who was awarded Rs 10000 cash. Ganesan had tamed 13 bulls to win the third prize. The best bull award of a Hyundai Santro car was given to Karuppan, from Kulamangalam.
Till Thursday evening, one man was killed and over 80 people were injured in various Jallikattu events that were held in Madurai, Trichy and Krishnagiri districts in Tamil Nadu.