Jallikattu: 2 dead in separate events, over 100 injured; CM announces solatium

From the jallikattu bull taming sport held at Avaniyapuram in Tamil Nadu's Madurai district on Sunday. Photo: Manorama/Reju Arnold

Madurai (TN): Two persons, including a bull tamer, were killed in separate jallikattu events in Tamil Nadu on Monday.

And injuries did not seem to deter the enthusiasm of the dauntless tamers, who charged at the bulls every time they were released, with renewed vigour.

Chief Minister M K Stalin condoled the deaths and announced a solatium of Rs 3 lakh each to the families of bull tamer Aravind Raj of Palamedu, and spectator M Aravindh from Pudukottai district who died after being gored by a bull.

"I offer my deepest condolences to the bereaved families and friends. I have ordered Rs 3 lakh each from the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund to the families of the two deceased," the Chief Minister said.

At least 75 persons including bull tamers and owners were injured during the jallikattu--the bull taming sport-- held at Avaniyapuram in the district and another 34 sustained injuries at the event at Palamedu, which concluded this evening.

Aravind Raj, a 26-year-old bull tamer who appeared unstoppable in taming nine bulls, was gored by a bull at the jallikattu event in Palamedu.

Aravind Raj of Palamedu was initially rushed to the primary health centre (PHC) for first aid and later referred to the Rajaji Government Medical College Hospital here, said police.

From the jallikattu bull taming sport held at Avaniyapuram in Tamil Nadu's Madurai district on Sunday. Photo: Manorama/Reju Arnold

"He was gored in the abdomen when he attempted to embrace the bull during the sport," a senior police official said.

Raj had been faster than the animals and displayed a unique skill in taming the bull successfully. His name was figured in the list of tamers who embraced the maximum number of bulls from among nearly 860 bulls that were released from the Vadivasal (entry point) into the arena.

He wanted to return home with the coveted Chief Minister's prize--a car but fate had other plans.

The event left at least 34 persons including a police inspector on duty besides 10 bull tamers, injured.

A spectator M Aravindh (25) of Pudukottai district witnessing the jallikattu at Suriyur village in Tiruchirappalli district died after he was gored by a bull, police said.

A bull owner who was walking out of the arena in Palamedu with a plastic chair gifted to him had to wield the chair to save himself from a ferocious bull that attempted to gore him while having almost a free run evading being restrained by the boisterous young tamers. The chair got smashed in the process but he eventually managed to save himself from the sharp horns of the animal.

The Palamedu jallikattu is the second high-profile competition in the district.

Another bull tossed about 10 youngsters who got closer to hold on to the hump in the hope of displaying their prowess but found that the animal turned out to be stronger than all. The bull flung them around by angrily shaking his head and avoided being caught. The bull was adjudged the winner and he earned a four-gram gold as the prize for his owner.

From the jallikattu bull taming sport held at Avaniyapuram in Tamil Nadu's Madurai district on Sunday. Photo: Manorama/Reju Arnold

The jallikattu in Palamedu here, which is being held on Mattu Pongal day dedicated to cattle, witnessed an intense contest.

The 2023 Pongal season's first jallikattu held at Avaniyapuram here on Sunday coinciding with the first day of the harvest festival left about 75 persons injured. Nearly 20 among them were provided advanced trauma life support put up by the administration at the venue, officials said.

As many as 737 bulls were released at the Avaniyapuram bull taming sport event which saw the participation of 257 bull tamers who had provided RT-PCR negative reports and also a certificate that they were fully vaccinated against covid-19.

Nearly, 860 bulls were released from Vadivasal (entry point) at Palamedu where 335 tamers participated today.

State Commercial Taxes Minister P Moorthy flagged off the jallikattu in the presence of Madurai district collector S Aneesh Sekhar.

As the bulls darted into the arena with ferocity, frenzied tamers vied with one another to grapple with the animals. The men refused to give up every time despite being outdone by the bulls.

As the majestic bulls and determined tamers battled it out to display their prowess, Palamedu sustained the Pongal jallikattu fervour.

Tamilarasan of Chinnapatti who tamed 23 bulls was adjudged the best tamer and was presented the first prize of the Chief Minister's car. Mani of Palamedu, who tamed 19 bulls, won the second prize - a two-wheeler while Raja of Palamedu, who tamed 15 bulls won the third prize.

"I was inspired by my father who was a bull tamer and had trained under him from a young age," Tamilarasan said indicating that handling bulls were running in his blood.

The owner of the best bull that evaded all the tamers was given a car as a prize while the owner of the second winner took home a cow.

An elaborate security arrangement was made by the district administration and police.

The district would witness this traditional sport at Alanganallur on Tuesday.

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