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Just as the state of Tamil Nadu reels under the rising number of Covid-19 cases, the revered Jallikattu competition begins today at Avaniyapuram village in Madurai district amid much cheering from the crowd.

The Jallikattu competition which began at 8 am was greeted with loud whistles, applause and cheers at Avaniyapuram village in Madurai district, as many as 300 bulls were let out into the arena of bull tamers.

The Tamil Nadu government had allowed Jallikattu with 300 bulls and 150 spectators. However, hundreds of villagers gathered on roofs and outside at Avaniyapuram to watch the events.

During the event, one participant suffered from a respiratory problem and was rushed to the hospital for treatment. A bull owner said, "Coronavirus is quickly spreading in the state. However, we are happy that the government has allowed the conduct of Jallikattu in the state."

Tamil Nadu, which witnessed the first Jallikattu for this Pongal 2022 season in Pudukottai on Thursday, with nearly 700 bulls were let out into the arena, the tamers pumped their adrenaline to ride the native bulls by clinging on to their humps. 

The heroic traditional sport saw about 300 tamers participate in the annual event held in connection with the Pongal festival. The State government permitted the conduct of the traditional sport of Tamil Nadu enforcing numerous restrictions on the men and animals making it mandatory for the bull owners, their assistants, tamers and spectators to furnish RT-PCR test negative report to participate and witness the Jallikattu. 

Also, SoP was issued to prevent cruelty to the animals. All those who took part in the sport and the spectators too should have been fully vaccinated, the government had said. 

The Jallikattu event organisers have announced gift hampers like gold coins, washing machines, cars and bikes. Every year during Pongal, Jallikattu competition is conducted in villages of Tamil Nadu.

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