- Close to a thousand bulls are participating in the event
- Successful bull tamers would win gold coins, two-wheelers or even a car
- A bigger event would be held in Alanganallur panchayat tomorrow
Forty-three people were injured as bulls targeted tamers and spectators at massive Jallikattu event in Tamil Nadu's Madurai district on Wednesday. The state is celebrating Maattu Pongal, a day dedicated to cattle.Three participants were injured at another Jallikattu event in Pudukottai district on Monday.
Jallikattu - a traditional bull-wrestling festival - was banned by the Supreme Court in 2015 on grounds of animal cruelty. But the ban was lifted in in 2016 with an amendment to the law after massive protests along the Marina beach in Chennai.
Close to a thousand bulls are participating in Wednesday's event. During Jallikattu, bulls festooned with marigolds are released from pens and men try to grab their horns to win prizes. Successful bull tamers would win gold coins, television sets, two-wheelers or even a car.
"Forty nine people were injured yesterday (Monday). Nine were taken to hospital for minor injuries," S Natarajan, a government official told news agency AFP.
Though the state government has put in place systems to check animal cruelty and ensure the safety of spectators and bull tamers following the court orders, animal rights activists allege that animal cruelty still continues.
A bigger Jallikattu event would held in the Alanganallur panchayat of Madurai on Thursday.
In past years too, competitors have been gored to death by bulls. More than two hundred people - both bull tamers and spectators - have lost their lives in the last two decades. However, organisers believe any ban on the traditional sport could wreak disaster.
(With inputs from AFP and PTI)