- After days of peaceful protest, police cars set on fire
- Jallikattu campaign wants the bull-taming sport to be legal
- 'Anti-national elements', not students, causing violence: Police
Several public personalities, however, blamed the police and the government for failing to engage with students, who, last Tuesday, assembled at the shoreline and then put out calls for support on social media. The response was immediate and evocative: lawyers, IT professionals, parents with young children in tow all gathered to proclaim that those who claim Jallikattu tortures bulls do not understand how it's conducted or its cultural significance, and that a ban on the sport levied in 2014 by the Supreme Court must be set aside.
"Young blood is boiling. The youngsters (on Marina Beach) are educated crowd, not an uneducated crowd. We need to speak to them and have a dialogue," said actor-politician Khushboo of the Congress. Superstar Kamal Haasan, who has expressed ardent support for the movement, tweeted, "This is a mistake. Aggressive police action on students' passive resistance will not bear good results." He also urged the students to keep calm.
Political leaders were not allowed to participate in the Marina Beach campaign - students asked them to leave. Government sources who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter said it was hard to identify the leaders of such a broad-based movement. Balaji, a popular entertainer and Radio Jockey, told students that it is time to go home, tweeting that today's behaviour threatened to undo what had been accomplished. "The police have been very supportive, helpful. (It's) time we understand and behave accordingly. The ordinance and thepromise for a permanent solution is itself a huge victory for us. So you need to withdraw," he said.
After the Supreme Court sided with animal activists in 2014, the centre, last year, allowed the sport to resume, a move that has been challenged in the top court which has agreed that it will not deliver its verdict for a week to ensure it does not provoke an outburst in response.