Amid intensifying protests across Tamil Nadu for jallikattu, Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Wednesday said he would call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday seeking an immediate promulgation of an ordinance to allow the sport and appealed to protesters to end agitations.
“On Thursday morning I will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urge him to promulgate an ordinance to conduct jallikattu. Hence, I appeal to all protesters to give up their agitations,” the Chief Minister said. He assured the agitators that the Tamil Nadu government would continue to make all efforts to conduct jallikattu.
His assurance came after thousands of youths converged on Marina Beach here demanding a personal assurance from him that the sport would be held.
Panneerselvam said the Tamil Nadu government “is on the same page” with the people of the state on the issue. “The democratic protests by students and people to uphold our rights and guard our culture are expressive of our feelings (on jallikattu),” he said.
However, to conduct ‘jallikattu’, the Supreme Court should give a favourable verdict, he said. If the sport was to be held before such a verdict was given, “only the central government has the powers to bring in an amendment to facilitate that,” he said.
In view of the intensifying protests, the Chief Minister held a high-level meeting with top officials including Chief Secretary Girija Vaidyanathan, DGP T K Rajendran and Chennai Police Commissioner S George.
More film personalities, including actors Vishal, comedian Vivek and Sivakarthikeyan on Wednesday expressed support for jallikattu. Actors’ body South Indian Artistes’ Association announced a hunger strike on January 20 on the issue.
Talks by State Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar and School Education Minister K Pandiarajan followed by senior police officials failed to dissuade the protestors on Marina beach here who insisted that the Chief Minister visit the site and give an assurance that the sport would be allowed.
Protests were held and rallies were taken out in several districts including Chennai, Kanchipuram, Tiruvallur, Madurai, Coimbatore, Tiruchirappalli, Ariyalur, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Virudhunagar, Sivaganga, Theni, Thanjavur, Salem, Erode, Karur, Dharmapuri and Kanyakumari.
Also, ‘road rokos’ were held in various locations, including Ramanathapuram.
In rallies and protests by students and IT employees, slogans like ‘We want jallikattu’ and ‘Ban anti-Tamil PETA’ were raised.