On Monday, thousands of youths who started their protest in Alanganallur in Madurai district against a Supreme court ban on the bull-taming sport, were taken into custody by the police on Tuesday as the protest extended overnight.
The police housed the protesters — including both men and women, who had assembled in the town famous for conducting Jallikattu — in nearby wedding halls.
Angered by these arrests, villagers came out on the streets of Alanganallur.
DMK Working President and Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu assembly M.K. Stalin condemned the arrests as it prevented food and water supplies from reaching the protesters.
He also termed the AIADMK rule in the state as “draconian”.
Stalin called the police action “inhuman” and said on the pretext of preventing cruelty to bulls, the police made peaceful protesters suffer.
He demanded the immediate release of those taken into custody.
In Jallikattu, a bull vaulter is expected to hang on to the animal’s hump for a stipulated distance or hold on to the hump for a minimum of three jumps made by the bull.
The sport is traditionally held as part of the four-day Pongal festival.
The Supreme Court in May 2014 banned the conduct of Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu.
The court also held that bulls cannot be used as performing animals either for Jallikattu events or for bullock-cart races in the Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country.
Ever since the ban order, people have been demanding that the central government take necessary legal steps to allow the conduct of the sport.