Jallikattu, the highly-controversial bull-taming sport in Tamil Nadu during the Pongal festival claimed two lives on Monday after a tamer and a spectator were killed in two separate events. More than 100 people including tamers and spectators were also injured on Sunday and Monday at various Jallikattu events.
Bull tamer Arvind Raj was killed after he was fatally gored and flung by a raging bull at the jallikattu event in Madurai district’s Palamedu on Monday.
Tamed nine bulls before his death
The 26-year-old construction worker was on a winning spree on Monday and already had tamed nine bulls before his luck ran out.
During the highly charged jallikattu events, it is common for bull owners, spectators and others to announce rewards, including cash, gold etc for taming a bull.
Arvind was aiming to win the big reward – a car announced by Chief Minister MK Stalin when he was fatally gored by a bull.
Despite a bleeding injury in his abdomen, Raj clung on to the barricade at the arena and made a vain attempt to stand on his legs to take on the bull.
But he collapsed and was rushed on a stretcher to the primary health centre (PHC) for first aid and later referred to the Rajaji Government Medical College Hospital where he was declared brought dead.
Wanted to win the car
Aravind’s friend said on Monday he left home with high hopes of winning the Chief Minister’s prize of a car.
“The car is highly expensive for poor people like us. I must win it. That’s my dream,” Raj, who had studied upto ninth standard, had told his friend.
CM announces compensation
In a separate incident, Aravind, a spectator lost his life when a bull gored him to death while he was watching the event in Tiruchirapalli.
Chief minister MK Stalin condoled the deaths and announced a solatium of Rs3 lakh each to the families of Aravind Raj and M Aravindh.
“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 CM said.
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Jallikattu fever across Tamil Nadu
Nearly 9,700 bulls have been registered by their owners and approximately 5,400 ‘tamers’ have signed up for events in Avaniyapuram, Palamedu and Alanganallur in Madurai.
At least 75 people were left injured during the year’s first Jallikattu event at Avaniyapuram held on Sunday. At least 737 bulls and 257 tamers took part in the event at Avaniyapuram.
Jallikattu events are being held across Tamil Nadu during the period from January 15 to 18 as part of the Pongal festival.
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