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India: Huge crowds ignore coronavirus norms to attend bull-taming festival03:44

India: Huge crowds ignore coronavirus norms to attend bull-taming festival

India, Palamedu
January 16, 2021 at 04:50 GMT +00:00 · Published

Thousands of people ignored coronavirus restrictions to pack into an arena in took to the streets of the Tamil Nadu city of Palamedu on Friday to watch a traditional bull-taming competition that marks the beginning of harvest season.

The unique celebration, known as 'Jallikattu,' is a traditional event in which zebu bulls are released into a crowd of tamers who aim to hold onto it for as long as possible.

The celebration has divided opinion in the country, and it was first banned by the Indian Supreme Court in 2014, but local authorities appealed to reverse the ban.

This year, more scandal was added to the event as the huge crowds ignored any coronavirus restrictions whatsoever and packed into the arena to watch the event. Police watching the event were also filmed not adhering to any social distancing norms or even wearing masks.

"I am not sure whether anything like coronavirus exists. I am very doubtful about this disease and not thinking about it. I disagree with the authorities when they say that coronavirus will spread at an event like this. We are seeing bigger crowds in movie theaters and at political events, if it's not spreading from those activities, then can it spread at this event?" stated bull owner Pradeep Kumar

Whilst animal rights activists say that Jallikattu is inhumane for the animals, locals from Tamil Nadu claim the celebration is a key aspect of its culture and identity.

Though the organisers claimed that all the bull tamers had been tested for coronavirus and the animals were examined by veterinarians, the event ended with ambulances arriving as participants were seen sustaining injuries.

India: Huge crowds ignore coronavirus norms to attend bull-taming festival03:44
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Thousands of people ignored coronavirus restrictions to pack into an arena in took to the streets of the Tamil Nadu city of Palamedu on Friday to watch a traditional bull-taming competition that marks the beginning of harvest season.

The unique celebration, known as 'Jallikattu,' is a traditional event in which zebu bulls are released into a crowd of tamers who aim to hold onto it for as long as possible.

The celebration has divided opinion in the country, and it was first banned by the Indian Supreme Court in 2014, but local authorities appealed to reverse the ban.

This year, more scandal was added to the event as the huge crowds ignored any coronavirus restrictions whatsoever and packed into the arena to watch the event. Police watching the event were also filmed not adhering to any social distancing norms or even wearing masks.

"I am not sure whether anything like coronavirus exists. I am very doubtful about this disease and not thinking about it. I disagree with the authorities when they say that coronavirus will spread at an event like this. We are seeing bigger crowds in movie theaters and at political events, if it's not spreading from those activities, then can it spread at this event?" stated bull owner Pradeep Kumar

Whilst animal rights activists say that Jallikattu is inhumane for the animals, locals from Tamil Nadu claim the celebration is a key aspect of its culture and identity.

Though the organisers claimed that all the bull tamers had been tested for coronavirus and the animals were examined by veterinarians, the event ended with ambulances arriving as participants were seen sustaining injuries.