Tamil Nadu's bull-taming sport Jallikattu made it to the Guinness World Records on Sunday after 1,353 bulls and 800 tamers participated in it on a single day.
Tamil Nadu Health Minister C Vijaya Bhaskar, who was overseeing the arrangements, said this was the highest number of bulls participating in a single day in Jallikattu's history.
- Supreme Court banned the sport in 2014 citing cruelty to animals
- Protests crippled the TN capital, forcing the government to introduce ordinance legalising Jallikkettu
- Protesters said Jalikattu was an integral part of the native culture
- As many as hat 23 people died in during the sport in 2017 alone. Also dead were six bulls
"There was a plan to include 2,000 bulls in the event but the same could not be achieved due to the paucity of the time and bulls from the other districts of Madurai, Pudukkottai, Trichy, Thanjavur, Coimbatore, and Sivaganga took part in the event," the event organisers said.
However, the event also claimed the lives of two spectators - Satish Kumar (28) and Ram (35). They were killed by the raging bulls when they jumped into an arena in Tamil Nadu's Pudukottai district. At least 30 people were also injured.
There was a plan to include 2,000 bulls in the event but the same could not be achieved due to the paucity of the time and bulls from the other districts of Madurai, Pudukkottai, Trichy, Thanjavur, Coimbatore, and Sivaganga took part in the event
"This happened when the owners were trying to secure their bulls beyond the collection point amid a sea of people," a senior police official told NDTV.
2014 ban and an ordinance three years later
Jallikattu was banned by the Supreme Court in 2014 citing animal cruelty and safety concerns of the spectators.
The Supreme Court had said that bulls cannot be used as performing animals either for Jallikatu or horse-cart races in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and the rest of the country.
However, the Tamil Nadu government passed an ordinance in 2017 after receiving a nod from the centre and amended the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, which helped resume the sport.
There was a state-wide agitation in 2016 against the SC order calling Jalikattu an integral part of the native culture.
Despite new safety norms, spectators in Jallikattu are still at risk?
Despite Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and his administration's assurance of the implementation of all safety norms, the spectators and even bull owners are usually at risk especially as the owners try to secure their bulls.
The Chief Minister had earlier flagged off an event calling Jalikattu as a symbol of courage and valour of its people.
This year, the Jallikattu organisers have arranged for teams of doctors and medical staff at the venues. Even operation theatres have been set up near the venues for treatment of the injured people. the Hindustan Times reported.