Bull tamers lathicharged; over 1,000 register at Palamedu
With the jallikattu scheduled for Sunday and Monday respectively at Avaniyapuram and Palamedu in Madurai district, registration for bulls witnessed a huge turnout of youngsters, hailing not only from Madurai but many neighbouring districts as well, on the first day on Thursday.
At Palamedu, the district police had to resort to lathicharge in the morning as a swelling crowd, in their tussle to register at the earliest, broke some barricades erected near the registration area and created a stampede-like situation near the counters.
Several youngsters sustained injuries in the lathicharge. N. Rajapandi from Vadipatti, who had come to register for the event, alleged that the chaos was created by a rumour that only a limited number of bull tamers would be allowed to register. Officials from Vadipatti Taluk, who handled the registration, said a total of 1,188 persons registered on Thursday, while 312 were rejected by medical teams.
“We had deployed people to fill up the forms for the bull tamers, who were asked to bring valid identity proofs. A medical team carried out a basic check-up, which included body mass index (BMI) and pressure,” an official said, adding that another round of thorough check-up, including that of checking whether the person is under the influence of alcohol, would be done just before the event.
At Avaniyapuram, however, no medical check-up was done during registration on Thursday since the turnout was relatively less than Palamedu. A total of 623 bull tamers registered there.
“Since the registration happened at Palamedu also on the same day, many had to choose between the two. We enrolled all those who came with a valid identity proof and in the age limit of 20 to 40. We omitted medical check-up since it will anyway happen before the event,” said an official from Madurai South Taluk, who handled the registration.
Registration of bulls was handled by personnel from the Department of Animal Husbandry at Avaniyapuram. A doctor associated with the department said,“A picture of the bull taken with its owner or handler has to be produced. On the day of jallikattu, the bull will be allowed to enter vaadivasal only if the accompanying person in the photograph is present,” he said, adding that 954 bulls were registered on Thursday. Another fitness check will be done for bulls prior to the event.
Registration for Alanganallur jallikattu, the most famous among the three places, scheduled for Tuesday, is yet to begin.