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    A villager is pinned down by a bull as another attempts to control him during the annual bull-taming festival called Jallikattu, which is part of south India's Pongal harvest festival of Pongal, on the outskirts of the southern city of Madurai, India, January 15, 2018

    Four Persons Gored to Death in Southern India’s Bull-Taming Festival

    © REUTERS / Abhishek N. Chinnappa
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    During the festival most popularly known as ‘Jallikattu’, a rampaging bull is released into a crowd. The brave among them attemps to grab the bull's hump and ride it for as long as possible, attempting to bring it to a stop. Bulls are bred specifically by people of the village for the event.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) —Four people have been killed in separate incidents since the beginning of ‘Jallikattu' on January 14 in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The latest casualty occurred on Tuesday in Sivaganga, Tamil Nadu, when raging bulls killed two spectators. Fifty-six others were injured in the commotion that ensued.

    The accident occurred when some villagers suddenly let loose unregistered bulls into the official venue at Sivaganga that was to host only trained bulls, according to the local administration. Police said that bulls started running into the gathering of approximately 25,000 after they were booed by the crowd.

    READ MORE: Bullfighting Ban in India Lifted After Widespread Protests, Clashes With Police

    At another venue in Tiruchi district, a 25-year-old spectator was gored to death by the rampaging bulls, while 60 others sustained injuries. On Monday, a 19-year-old was killed in Palamedu in Madurai.

    In 2014, India's highest court banned the sport after declaring it to be an act of "inherent cruelty". The ban, however, didn't go down well with local political parties, who submitted a review petition, which the Court dismissed. The central government in 2016 issued a notification banning the sport.

    In January 2017, the central government tried to stop the traditional festival in consonance with the apex court's order but the effort encountered violent protests among the people of Tamil Nadu. Later in the month, the Tamil Nadu government passed an ordinance revoking the ban, paving the way for the festival to be held in the harvest season of January 2018.

    The question of whether it is within the authority of a local government to challenge the decisions of the federal government is currently being examined by the judiciary.  


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