Elated Tamils celebrate SC verdict on Jallikattu

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Madurai, Jan 15 (UNI) It was a moment of ecstasy for the people of Tamil Nadu's southern districts, when the Supreme Court lifted the ban on Jallikattu, a traditional bullfight organised as part of the Pongal festival in the State, today.

The villages of Alanganallur and Palamedu in Madurai district, which had been witnessing unrest for the past couple of days following the ban, were upbeat after the apex court gave green signal to the valour sport.

Residents of Alanganallur, who had been observing fast for the past three days demanding permission for conducting the traditional sport, withdrew the strike this evening and removed black flags hoisted atop their houses.

Even as hectic arrangements were being made for conducting the event, they celebrated the verdict by bursting crackers and distributing sweets. Special 'thanks-giving' poojas were held at local temples.

Talking to UNI, Tamizhaga Veera Vilayattu Kuzhu (Committee for the Valiant Sports of Tamil Nadu) Convener T Rajasekaran, who is in Delhi spearheading the struggle for lifting the ban, said ''it is a victory for the people of Tamil Nadu. This is an opportunity for the Tamils to establish their valour and dignity.'' He thanked the Tamil Nadu Government and Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for getting the Supreme Court nod for the event.

Mr D Regupathy, one of the organisers of the annual event, said this year Jallikattu would be held in a grand manner. ''We have managed to overcome the obstacles and it is time for the youngsters to meet the fiery bulls,'' he added.

Jallikattu, also called 'Manju Virattu', was conducted in several villages in the State as part of the harvest festival of Pongal.

Every year, a large number of foreign tourists come to the villages to watch the centuries-old sport, especially the most famous 'Alanganallur Jallikattu'.

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