Chennai: The week-long pro-Jallikattu protest at Chennai’s Marina Beach turned violent on Monday after early morning crackdown by the police on scores of protesters, demanding a permanent solution for holding of the bull taming sport.
Police restored to baton-charge and fired tear gas to forcefully disperse demonstrators. The police action at Marina Beach led to clashes and violent protesters pelted stones at Ice House police station and set several vehicles on fire.
Following an advisory, the crackdown comes on a day when the state Assembly is expected to discuss the matter after the customary Governor’s address.
TV visuals showed men and women in khaki physically removing the protesters, most of them clad in black, from the sands of the famous beach here, signalling the end of the week-long protests that had been backed by political parties including ruling AIADMK and DMK.
A large posse of cops was deployed at Marina. The protesters, mostly students and youth, had not bought the government decision to issue an ordinance for holding Jallikattu, which was done on Saturday, and the bull taming sport held in some parts of the state.
They had vowed to carry on with their protest till a permanent solution was found to ensure the sport was held annually without any hindrance.
Senior police officials could not be reached. The protesters criticised the police crackdown at the beach.
The police action, however, came following an early morning ‘advisory’ asking the agitators to end their ‘disciplined and peaceful’ protest as their “purpose has been fully achieve.”
The advisory, released to the media, said that tens of thousands of youth, students and general public had been protesting in Marina since January 17 urging to lift the ban on the conduct of Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu and that it had been “staged in a disciplined and peaceful manner without causing inconvenience to the general public and hindrance to the traffic.”
: Police trying to forcefully evict protesters from Chennai’s Marina Beach
“In fact the participants have been assisting the police throughout and have cooperated well in the maintenance of Law and Order and regulation of traffic.”
“The Government of Tamil Nadu has taken every initiative and has conducted Jallikattu yesterday at various places all over Tamil Nadu to fulfil the aspirations of the people of Tamil Nadu,” it said.
“Through an exemplary display of unity and discipline, the purpose of the protest has been fully achieved. Hence the participants are requested to leave the Marina in the same peaceful and disciplined manner and co-operate with the Chennai City Police,” it said.
Several protestors were also seen threatening the police, saying they will commit suicide at the beach if forcefully removed from the site.
Yesterday, protesters in Alanganallur did not allow Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam to inaugurate the Alanganallur Jallikattu, which was later cancelled.
Talking to mediapersons, the Chief Minister said that even though Jallikattu was not held at Alanganallur, it was organised smoothly in many other places across the state.
After the Governor’s address to the Assembly today, the government is expected to move a bill to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960.