Jayalalithaa wants ordinance to allow 'Jallikattu'

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Chennai, Dec 23: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa is seeking an ordinance so that 'Jallikattu' or bull taming sport can be held in the state during Pongal festival next month.

She made the plea in a communication on Tuesday to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, adding that if needed parliament's session must be extended to enact a legislation.

jayalalithaa

The letter was released to the media on Wednesday.

"On behalf of the people of Tamil Nadu, I urge you to have the ordinance promulgated expeditiously," the chief minister said.

Jayalalithaa said the Supreme Court had in May 2014 upheld a notification by the environment and forests ministry categorizing bulls in the list of animals which shall not be exhibited or trained as performing animals.

"The Supreme Court consequently ruled that bulls cannot be used as performing animals for Jallikattu events," Jayalalithaa said.

She said the Tamil Nadu government filed a review petition before the Supreme Court which was pending.

Jayalalithaa said the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu, who have a deep attachment to the traditional Jallikattu event, have to be honoured.

"Hence I strongly urge you to immediately direct the ministry of environment, forests and climate change to introduce a bill to comprehensively and suitably amend the relevant provisions of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, and any other relevant laws to enable the conduct of Jallikattu," she said.

"May I request that the parliament session be extended or a special session be called for this purpose?"

Jayalalithaa pointed out that Jallikattu had been conducted as apart of Pongal festival in rural Tamil Nadu for centuries.

"Bulls that are reared exclusively for this event are tamed by able bodied youth. Jallikattu has considerable historical significance and is ingrained in the cultural tradition of Tamil Nadu."

"It also has religious connotations with families donating bulls to temples in fulfilment of vows."

IANS

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