Police lathicharge jallikattu protesters in Madurai
Tamil film director V Gowthaman raised provocative slogans against the Union Government, by referring to the Cauvery issue and claiming that Tamil Nadu and its culture were being targeted on all fronts.
The Madurai police resorted to mild lathicharge at Avaniyapuram on Saturday as protests, predominantly by the locals, demanding permission to conduct the bull taming event jallikattu got intense with the arrival of some Kollywood film personalities.
According to a report in The Hindu, locals had been carrying out protests since morning in Avaniyapuram, one of the three famous places in Madurai where jallikattu was traditionally held on the day of Pongal, raising slogans against organisations like People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), which were instrumental in the Supreme Court banning the event.
Later, they were joined by Tamil film director V Gowthaman, who raised provocative slogans against the Union Government, by referring to the Cauvery issue and claiming that Tamil Nadu and its culture were being targeted on all fronts. He also entered into an argument with the police and objected to their role of police in suppressing the protests for jallikattu and not allowing the sport to happen.
Meanwhile, film director Ameer, music director Yuvan Shankar Raja and actor Arya, who had come to Madurai reportedly to attend an audio-release function, also arrived at the venue to express support for the protest.
However, a section of locals objected to the presence of Arya as he had allegedly made some remarks against jallikattu earlier in social media. Though Ameer tried to pacify them, the locals became more vocal in condemning Arya.
As the situation began to spin out of control, the huge posse of police deployed in the area lathi-charged the protesters, including Gowthaman, who sustained minor injuries, while Arya, Ameer and Yuvan had to leave the venue.
Police sources said Gowthaman and around 15 others were detained.