The Madurai police have said that only bull owners and tamers with passes have been given permission to enter the famous Avaniyapuram Jallikattu arena. Over a thousand bulls and 600 tamers are reportedly contesting in the event that kick started at 7:00am on Monday, January 15. Avaniyapuram Jallikattu is the first of the famous bull taming events set to take place in Madurai district to mark the Tamil harvest festival of Pongal.
Madurai City Police Commissioner J Loganathan told IANS that passes with photo identity cards have already been issued and owners and tamers should also carry fitness certificates given by the medical officer. He said that if bull owners and tamers are found to be in an inebriated state, they will not be allowed to enter the arena. The Commissioner also added that the police have informed the bull owners and tamers not to use knives or sharp weapons to cut the nose rope of the bulls.
“The district administration has already appointed a trained person to cut the ropes. Police have also directed the owners of the houses along the Jallikattu venue not to allow anyone other than their relatives to watch the event from their premises,” he said. The Commissioner added that if any law and order situation arises due to the presence of strangers, the house owners who permitted them inside their homes would face stringent action.
Further, he said that the bull owner and one assistant had been allowed to accompany the bull to the venue through Mullai Nagar and Avaniyapuram police station to join in the queue after midnight to proceed towards the Jallikattu venue. Traffic regulations are also in place in anticipation of the huge crowds that gather annually for watching the bull-taming sport.
On Monday, final medical tests were carried out to ensure that the bulls were healthy, within the age-limit of two-years-old, and had not been drugged or inebriated. As is tradition, gifts and awards, sponsored by various political leaders and well-known businesses will be distributed to the winning bull’s owners and tamers.
With inputs from IANS.