In light of media reports that despite a stay by the Supreme Court on jallikattu, the bull-taming sport is being held in parts of Tamil Nadu, animal rights activists have written to Home Minister Rajnath Singh to direct the state government of Tamil Nadu to follow the SC order.
Similar allegations regarding the Andhra Pradesh government not following the Hyderabad High Court orders in Narhari Jagdish Kumar v. State of Andhra Pradesh, that bans cockfights in the Telugu states, were levelled.
In the said order, cockfights were declared illegal, however, animal rights activists alleged that several MLAs were “inaugurating and encouraging” cockfights.
In a letter dated January 12, NG Jayasimha, who is a member of the Animal Welfare Board of India (AWBI) and managing director of Humane Society International (HSI), and Gauri Maulekhi, trustee at People for Animal (PFA), who are among the petitioners against the Centre's notification that allowed the use of bulls in jallikattu, have called the actions of state governments in Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh as “willful, deliberate and malicious”. They were also the petitioners in the matter regarding cockfights in Andhra Pradesh HC.
They alleged in the letter that the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and other political leaders openly stated that they would go ahead with jallikattu, despite the SC order. It is also alleged that in some parts of Tamil Nadu, the festival has already begun.
In a setback for the Tamil Nadu government, on November 16, 2016, the Supreme Court had turned down its review plea to lift the ban on centuries-old jallikattu in the state. The chances of people in Tamil Nadu celebrating the century old traditional sport on Pongal this year are very narrow as the Supreme Court refused to issue any interim order on Thursday and also said it could not pronounce the verdict in the fresh appeal by the state before Saturday (January 14), when Pongal is celebrated.
The Andhra Pradesh High Court had extended the ban on cockfighting in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana wholly, instead of restricting the ban for Sankranti festival only.
The letter further stated that in the event of court orders not being implemented, President’s Rule can be imposed in these two states under Article 356.
Read the letter here.
This article has been made possible because of financial support from Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.