The week-long protests in Chennai in support of Jalikattu turned violent on Monday morning, reports said. Violence erupted after police tried to remove people from Marina beach on Monday morning.
According to an NDTV report, policepersons have said that protestors who want the sport to be legalised again pelted stones at them as they tried to disperse the crowds. Deccan Herald reported that the police resorted to tear gas shelling and lathi charge in an effort to control the crowds. Several vehicles were set on fire by the protestors outside the Ice House police station, reports said.
Protestors have also blocked several roads around Chennai.
The DMK staged a walkout from the state assembly as soon as the Tamil Nadu governor began his speech on Monday. “It is condemnable that instead of holding talks with peaceful protesters, it has been attempted to end protests using police with an authoritarian mindset,” M.K. Stalin, DMK working president and opposition leader in the state assembly, said in a statement quoted by Deccan Herald.
Protestors also clashed with the police in other parts of the state. According to ANI, policed detain more than 100 protestors near Meenakshi Hall in Coimbatore. There was also a clash in Madurai’s Allangar, according to reports.
The protesters, mostly students and youth, were not convinced by the government decision to issue an ordinance for holding Jallikattu, which was done on Saturday. They had vowed to carry on with their protest till a “permanent solution” was found to ensure the sport was held annually without any hindrance.
Police action, however, came following an early morning ‘advisory’ asking the agitators to end their ‘disciplined and peaceful’ protest as their “purpose has been fully achieved.” “The government of Tamil Nadu has taken every initiative and has conducted Jallikattu yesterday at various places all over Tamil Nadu to fulfill the aspirations of the people of Tamil Nadu,” it said.
After the governor’s address to the assembly today, the government is expected to move a Bill to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.
(With PTI inputs)