The Tamil Nadu state assembly, in a special session on Monday, unanimously passed a bill replacing an ordinance that gives Jallikattu legal sanctity hours after supporters of the controversial bull-taming sport clashed with police on Marina Beach in Chennai.
The bill, tabled by chief minister O. Panneerselvam, will replace the ordinance promulgated on Saturday following widespread protests against a ban on the sport imposed by the Supreme Court .
Governor C. Vidyasagar Rao said: “The unprecedented and spontaneous outpouring of emotion and sentiment in a completely orderly and peaceful manner by lakhs of youth, supported by common people across the state, has received the solidarity of Tamil people across the globe to conduct Jallikattu and preserve Tamil cultural heritage."
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However, after week-long peaceful protests, supporters of the sport, who dismiss allegations of cruelty against animals, turned violent on Monday morning, as they resisted police attempts to move them from Marina Beach and elsewhere in the capital city.
Police charged a crowd of thousands with canes and burst tear gas shells in a bid to disperse protesters at Marina, the site of daily protests in support of the sport. Police blocked all the roads leading to the beach while in Coimbatore, more than 200 people were detained, police said.
The clashes occurred after the village committees of Alanganallur and Palamedu in Madurai, famous for their Jallikattu events, said they will host the sport on 1 and 2 February respectively.
Protesters opposed the decision and demanded a permanent solution to the Jallikattu issue, prompting police to try and evict the people, police said.
Thousands of protesters formed a human chain at the beach and threatened to jump into the Bay of Bengal if police chased them.
Vehicles in the Ice House police station in Marina was set on fire by unidentified men, said a police policeman present at the site.
Jallikattu campaigners said that protests took a “wrong direction" after “anti-social elements" crept in.
Actor Raghava Lawrence, who has been driving the pro-Jallikattu protests, told reporters on Monday afternoon at the Marina that it was time for student protesters to give up their agitation.
After the police action, people including students came out and blocked the prominent roads in Chennai city.
“Trying to solve the issue through police force is condemnable, when it should have been solved through talks with the youngsters who were protesting peacefully," said M.K. Stalin, leader of opposition and working president of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK).