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Jallikattu protesters at Marina Beach in Chennai on Thursday. Photo: PTI
Jallikattu protesters at Marina Beach in Chennai on Thursday. Photo: PTI

Jallikattu: 4 Union ministries sign off on Tamil Nadu govt’s ordinance

In Tamil Nadu govt's draft ordinance on jallikattu, bulls will be denotified from the list of 'performing animals' in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act

Chennai/New Delhi: Decks were cleared late on Friday for promulgation of an ordinance by the Tamil Nadu government for conducting bull-taming sport jallikattu, with the Union ministries of environment, law, animal husbandry and culture giving their nod.

K. S. Dhatwalia, spokesman for home ministry, said: “Centre has cleared the ordinance regarding Jallikkattu as proposed by Tamil Nadu government."

A government official, on condition of anonymity, said the proposal of the Tamil Nadu government was cleared without any changes.

In the state government’s draft ordinance, bulls will be denotified from the list of “performing animals" in the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.

Attorney general Mukul Rohatgi had opined that by taking this route, the state can bring out an ordinance which is legally tenable.

ALSO READ: Jallikattu protest spread beyond Tamil Nadu to Lanka, UK and Australia

Earlier, Tamil Nadu chief minister O. Panneerselvam held out an assurance that jallikattu would be held in the state in a day or two, and urged people to withdraw protests against the ban on the bull-taming sport.

Union environment minister Anil Madhav Dave had also assured that there would be a permanent solution to the problem in one or two days.

While talking to reporters in New Delhi before taking a flight back to Chennai, Panneerselvam said that an ordinance would be promulgated for conducting the sport.

“We have discussed with legal experts to make amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has assured that the Centre will support steps taken by the state on jallikattu," the chief minister said.

Parallelly, the Supreme Court on Friday allowed the central government’s plea to defer its verdict on jallikattu.

“The centre and state are holding talks to find a way out," attorney general Rohatgi told the court.

A bench comprising justices Dipak Misra and R. Banumathi then agreed to hold off delivering verdict on whether the centre’s 2016 notification allowing jallikattu and bullock cart races across the country was valid.

ALSO READ: Cannot direct Centre, Tamil Nadu to frame special law on Jallikattu: Madras HC

On Friday, political parties, trade union associations and transport organizations joined the protest against the ban on jallikattu. The protests entered their fifth day at their epicentre in Madurai and the fourth day at Marina beach in Chennai.

The police read out a message from the chief minister urging people to end the protest, but demonstrators refused to budge, saying they wanted a permanent solution rather than a “temporary ordinance".

Scores of Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) workers, including party working president M.K. Stalin, were detained for staging a rail roko on Friday at suburban Mambalam railway station.

The Tamil film industry expressed solidarity with jallikattu supporters, with top actors and actresses joining a silent protest. Film shoots were suspended for the day. Actors Rajinikanth, Ajit Kumar, Surya, Sivakarthikeyan besides Trisha joined a silent protest.

Autos and call taxis kept off the roads. Banking operations took a hit with workers taking part in protests.

ALSO READ: Jallikattu row: Supreme Court agrees to delay verdict by a week

Employees of various IT companies held placards and banners with slogans against NGO People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Many inter and intra-state trains were either cancelled or diverted.

Ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) MPs called on Union home minister Rajnath Singh during the day and urged the central government to support the state. Singh assured them that the centre would take steps to enable the Tamil Nadu government to promulgate an ordinance allowing conduct of jallikattu, the Press Trust of India reported.

Shreeja Sen, PTI contributed to this story.

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