19-year-old boy mauled to death by bull during Jallikattu

Image Courtesy: Associated Press/R. Parthibhan
An man tries to tame a bull during a traditional bull-taming festival called “Jallikattu,” in the village of Palamedu, near Madurai, Tamil Nadu state.

Madurai, January 16: A 19-year-old boy was gored to death by a bull during a Jallikattu, a bull-taming event at Palamedu, in Madurai district of Tamil Nadu. The deceased was a participant in the first round of the event. The event was held as a part of Pongal festivities in the district.

Source quoted that the deceased was playing with the bull outside the arena, after his turn in the event got over when the bull attacked him. Around 25 spectators suffered injuries during the event.  Around 1,000 bulls were issued token to mark the event, where only 450 bulls were released at the end of the event.

The Madurai district administration, which governs the event, claimed that the preparation for the event was all set to welcome thousands of people. Around 50,000 to 1 lakh spectators are expected to witness the three-day event, said the district administration.

The festive event was brought to nations attention last year with massive protest, forcing Tamil Nadu government to pass an ordinance on the event. This year, the Animal welfare board of India has instructed the state government to comply with new safety rules and regulations while conducting the event. It is not to hurt the sentiments of culture but to protect the animals from cruelty, the board added.

Source: The Indian Express, India TV News

Tamil Nadu Bus Strike called off after Court Intervntion

Image Courtesy: Press Trust of India
After ten days of strike, TNSTC workers will be resuming duty after order by Madras High Court.

Chennai, January 12: After ten long days, the bus strike by Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC) Union was called off on late night of Thursday. A. Soundrarajan, the President of Centre of India Trade Union confirmed the news.

Earlier, the Madras High Court acting on a bunch of PIL’S against the strike, appointed former judge E. Padmanabhan as an arbitrator between the employees and the government regarding the issue of wage revision. It however rejected the workers demand that the agreement signed a few days ago with some of the unions should receive legal validity and asked the workers to resume duty at once.

The Judges clearly defined the role of the arbitrator by asking him to focus only on two issues-entitlement of wage revision of workers using a multiple factor of 2.57, instead of factor of 2.41 as agreed by government and the cut-off date for the revision.

They also refused to entertain the plea by workers that an original demand charter submitted way back in November, 2016 should be a part of the reference. The judges however, appealed to the workers to resume their duty to help general public in light of the Pongal festival and not to cause any further inconvenience for them.

Earlier the Transport Secretary P.C. Davidar refused to withdraw criminal cases against who were involved in destruction of public property and also declared government’s stand of no payment to the employees during strike period.

Source: The Hindu, The News Minute

Sri Lanka releases 29 Indian fishermen

The Sri Lankan government released 29 Indian fishermen on Monday. They were released under orders from the Trincomalee magistrate, while orders to release the remaining fishermen from other magistrates are underway.

The Sri Lankan government has decided to release 106 fishermen as a gesture of goodwill preceding the festival of Pongal. Of these, 55 fishermen were released earlier this week. Similarly, they will continue to be released in batches from various magistrates.

Although the fishermen were released, the Sri Lankan government has detained their vessels. Also, the fishermen will be sent back home only after all the 106 have cleared their release papers.

The fishermen were detained by the Sri Lankan navy for marine boundary limit violations and fishing in Sri Lankan waters.


Source: The New Indian Express

Centre lifts ban on Jallikattu

With the harvesting season just a few days away, the Center on Friday lifted the ban on Jallikattu (bull taming) this year. The ban was lifted by a notification from the Environment Minister, Prakash Javadekar, which states that bulls can be used and trained for the sport and also be exhibited during festivals for performing.

The notification also lifts the ban from other bull related sports which are practiced traditionally in Tamil Nadu and places like Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab, Haryana, Kerala and Gujarat. The notice also specifies that, “In case of Jallikattu, the moment the bull leaves the enclosure; it shall be tamed within a radial distance of 15 metre.”

However, the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) has told that they will be going against the Center’s order and will contest it with immediate effect. The AWBI Chairman told TOI, “We are disappointed that the government has ridden roughshod over such explicit directions of the Supreme Court.”

The sudden act by the Center came due to pressure from several politicians in Tamil Nadu including a letter from the CM, J. Jayalalithaa to the Prime Minister to allow the traditional practice to happen during Pongal.


Sources: TOI , The Hindu