World

Two killed, 28 injured in bull-wrestling festival

CHENNAI: Two people were gored to death yesterday in a bull-wrestling festival in southern India, a report said, a day after a ban on the controversial sport was overturned.

Several towns and villages in the southern state of Tamil Nadu celebrated the annual Jallikattu festival yesterday after week-long protests prompted authorities to approve an executive order lifting a Supreme Court ban on it.

But rampaging bulls sprinting through the village of Rapoosal in Pudukkottai district fatally gored the two victims and injured 28 others, the Press Trust of India (PTI) cited local police as saying.

The Supreme Court outlawed Jallikattu last year after a plea by animal rights groups, which have long accused those taking part in the event - held across Tamil Nadu - of cruelty to the animals.

The state's residents said Jallikattu is a crucial part of their culture and identity.

Growing tensions over the past week in state capital Chennai and other cities led Prime Minister Narendra Modi to issue an executive order on Friday allowing this year's event to go ahead.

But thousands have continued to protest and refused to celebrate the festival, saying they want a permanent lifting of the court ban and not just a temporary order.

Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam assured Tamils that the executive order would be made into a law during his state's next session of parliament starting today, according to PTI. - AFP

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