Students shout 'save jallikattu, ban PETA' slogans at Marina Beach in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. Photograph: (AFP)
Congress, CPI and several student outfits have called for a strike to force the government to lift the ban on the bull-taming sport
Tamil Nadu chief minister O Panneerselvam on Wednesday night assured everyone in the state that all possible legal means would be taken to ensure justice in the Jallikattu issue even as he said it should not be construed that the Centre was "ignoring" the state on the matter. Meanwhile, several media reports said that schools and colleges in the state would remain shut.
"We should not construe that the Centre is ignoring Tamil Nadu on this issue," he said when asked if the Union government was "ignoring" the state on the issue despite repeated pleas for an ordinance.
Panneerselvam was speaking to reporters at the airport prior to his departure to New Delhi, where he is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to press for an ordinance for the conduct of the bull-taming sport.
"The state government is walking the path of Amma (Jayalalithaa). We will take all legal measures till we get justice in the Jallikattu issue," he said. He added that he had earlier held talks with protestors who are agitating demanding conduct of Jallikattu and they were "satisfied" with his explanation.
They discussed with him their demands of holding the sport in the state, the chief minister said, adding he would apprise Modi of the "sentiments and aspirations" of people of the state during their meeting.
Meanwhile, a joint meeting of various Tamil outfits has called for a dawn to dusk strike in support of jallikattu in Pondicherry on January 20. A spokesman of the pro-jallikattu outfits comprising of representatives of various Tamil organisations including Tamilar Desiya Iyakkam and Naam Tamizhar katchi told newsmen that the strike is also aimed at demanding ban on PETA.
The outfits have formed an 'action committee' which includes various students organisations and non-political units extending support to jallikattu to spearhead various agitations in the Union Territory. Meanwhile, the ruling Congress has announced its support to the dawn to dusk strike called by various Tamil and students outfits in Pondicherry.
Puducherry PCC leader and PWD minister A Namassivayam attacked the NDA government saying the Centre was turning a deaf ear to all the agitations now under way in Tamil Nadu seeking lifting of the ban.
"An abnormal situation is prevailing in Tamil Nadu and the Centre has not taken this into consideration and has failed to bring in an ordinance to lift the ban on the traditional sport of Tamils," he said and announced support for the strike called by the student outfits.
Secretary of the Puducherry state committee of CPI, I R Viswanathan also announced his party's support for the strike. He said that the Centre should ban the PETA
(WION with PTI inputs)