TN favours lifting of ban on jallikattu, to seek Centre’s help to remove bulls from notified list

,TNN | Jan 10, 2015, 05.08 PM IST

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government on Saturday put the onus on the Centre to permit the conduct of jallikattu, a famous bull sport in the districts held during the Pongal (harvest) festival. The Supreme Court in May last year banned jallikattu after animal activists alleged cruelty to bulls. With the Pongal season round the corner, demands have been pouring in from several groups for permission to hold the event.

In a statement, chief minister O Panneerselvam said a team of state government officials would meet Union environment ministry officials in New Delhi on January 12 and insist that the Centre remove the ban on bulls being used for the sport. The Animal Welfare division of the Union Environment Ministry under the UPA government in 2011 had issued a notification banning the use of bulls as performing animals under section 22 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, the Chief Minister said.

“We hope the Centre will heed to our request and once that is done, we will take steps to conduct jallikattu without violating the Supreme Court order banning the sport,” said Panneerselvam. Animal activists point out that the move would go against the spirit of the SC order. “There have been demands from several sections seeking state government intervention for smooth conduct of the sport this Pongal and I assure them that the government will take all steps in this regard,” said the chief minister.

Recalling the history of cases against jallikattu in various courts, the chief minister said a review petition filed by Tamil Nadu government against the ban order is still pending with the apex court. “Apart from filing a review petition, the government is also taking steps to make the Union environment ministry lift the ban on use of bulls. Our officials in New Delhi are in touch with the advocates to list the case at the earliest in Supreme Court to speed up the hearing of the review petition,” said Panneerselvam.

“On January 7, a team of senior officials met their counterparts in the environment ministry and stressed for removal of the ban. Based on our demand, ministry officials have apprised Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar and given us hope that an order would be issued in favour of jallikattu,” said the chief minister.

This news article has been reproduced from “The Times of india” (Online edition) – dated  10 Jan 2015.
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