Villagers arrested in Kerala for holding bullocks' race

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Kakkoor (Kerala), Mar 5 (ANI): More than 30 farmers were arrested at Kakkoor in Kerala for organising a bullocks' race.

It is said that this annual event of bullocks' race dates back over a century and it is observed as a part of post harvest festival rural sporting event.

However, this year when the villagers, mostly farmers, gathered to take part in this lively competition, the police appeared on the scene to stop it under the law of prevention of cruelty to animals.

To disperse the crowd that had come to witness the race, the police resorted to baton charge and arrested over a dozen villagers.

In the melee, a couple of villagers were also injured.

According to P B Baby, Panchayat (village committee) head of Thirumarady, the police objected to the holding of the race despite the High Court granting its consent.

"In our village, bullocks' race has been a tradition since centuries. But for the past two years, the Superintendent of Police had been objecting to conduct this programme. But the High Court had given its green signal. In fact, there has been immense public belief and patronage to this event of bullocks' race," said P B Baby.

The race takes place in a freshly ploughed paddy field making it the racing track for the bulls.

Every pair of bulls is managed by about two to three farmers who steer the animals.

They enter the competition as one unit. Almost 30 such units compete in these races and the fastest unit wins the race.

Besides testing the speed of the bullocks, the races also test the skills of farmhands in ploughing the fields with the animals.

Similar to this bullocks' race of Kerala, in several parts of South Kanara, the coastal district of Karnataka, farmers display their skills in steering their livestock of bullocks and buffaloes through muddy fields in racing events known as Kambala. (ANI)

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