- Tamil Nadu uses executive order to resume Jallikattu
- Order was cleared by centre, sent to President Mukherjee for assent
- Bull-fighting sport must be allowed, say lakhs in Tamil Nadu
Here are the top 10 developments in this story:
All Tamil Nadu ministers will inaugurate Jallikattu in their districts today at 11 am. "I urge the youths, students and the general public to make the Jallikattu events across Tamil Nadu a grand success by participating in large numbers," the chief minister said.
Mr Panneerselvam said the assent of President Pranab Mukherjee to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 by Tamil Nadu was received on Friday night. "The assent for the ordinance (amending the PCA Act) has been obtained from Govenor also," he said, adding, "our dream to conduct Jallikattu this year has come true."
He said a draft Bill to replace the ordinance and amend the PCA Act paving the way for holding Jallikattu without any hindrance will be introduced and adopted in the Tamil Nadu Assembly's session which begins on January 23.
The state government is also exploring legal avenues to ban animal rights organisation PETA in Tamil Nadu, which has lobbied against the festival.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Saturday said that all efforts are being made to fulfil the cultural aspirations of Tamil people. "We are very proud of the rich culture of Tamil Nadu," PM Modi said in a tweet, adding, "Central Government is fully committed to the progress of Tamil Nadu and will always work to ensure the state scales new avenues of progress.
The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to not deliver its verdict in the next week, as requested by the centre, which pointed out that a decision could create law and order problems. Jallikattu, which sees young men wrestling with a bull in an open field during the harvest festival of Pongal, was banned by the Supreme Court in 2014.
Animal rights activists say bulls are abused, tortured, taunted with chillis flung in their eyes, and are doped on liquor. Lakhs in Tamil Nadu say that's not correct and that those who oppose Jallikattu do not understand the region's culture or respect it.
Last year, the centre allowed the sport, but that decision has been challenged in the Supreme Court. Pongal was held last week. Hundreds of people who defied the ban to hold local competitions in parts of Tamil Nadu were arrested, triggering a massive backlash.
Students took the lead in rallying people across the state. In Chennai, on the shoreline, they gathered in thousands, their numbers growing everyday with the extensive use of social media. Students have ensured that the protests remain apolitical and peaceful. Many of the demonstrators have helped clean up litter along the beach. Politicians who tried to join the mass demonstration were asked to leave.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a meeting with Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Thursday had indicated that though the centre cannot intervene while the Supreme Court is deciding on ending the ban, his government will support measures taken by the state.