Participants trying to tame a bull during Jallikattu festival
With demands galore in the state for holding the bull-taming sport of 'Jallikattu' coinciding with 'Pongal' harvest festival, Tamil Nadu government today assured steps for conducting the popular event, including asking Centre to remove bulls from a specific list of animals to facilitate the same.
Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said steps have been taken to expedite hearing on a review petition filed by the state government against a Supreme Court order of banning 'Jallikattu.'
In a detailed statement, Mr Panneerselvam recalled the legal battle between Jallikattu enthusiasts and animal welfare activists over holding the sport in the past, which was allowed by the High Court with restrictions, before Supreme Court completely banned it in May last year.
The government had filed a review petition which is pending before the apex court and it will now file a petition seeking speedy disposal of the same, he said.
Incidentally, the Animal Welfare division of the Union Environment Ministry under the UPA government in 2011 had issued a notification banning the use of bulls as performing animals under Section 22 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, the Chief Minister said.
Mr Panneerselvam said on January seven this year, the state government officials had met their Union Environment Ministry counterparts in Delhi and sought for removal of bulls from the aforesaid Act.
The government had also sought changes to the 1960 Act in order to hold Jallikattu without any hurdles, he said.
"The state government officials will visit Delhi once again on January 12 to seek removing bulls from the list. I hope the Central government will issue a notification (in this regard) immediately. If so, it will help the state government issue a notification for holding Jallikattu," without affecting the Supreme Court verdict, he said.