Police assault women as they crackdown on pro-Jallikattu protestors

Jan 24, 2017
Pro-Jallikattu protest in Tamil Nadu, India has turned violent after police forcibly evicted protestors.
Pro-Jallikattu protest in Tamil Nadu, India has turned violent after police forcibly evicted protestors.

A woman stands at a door as a policeman comes at her with a baton and hits her.

Another policeman targets the same woman.

A third tries but the woman rushes indoors.

This is one of the many videos shared on social media, allegedly of Chennai policemen caught in acts of violence during their crackdown on Jallikattu protesters yesterday.

In videos tweeted by actors Kamal Haasan, Arvind Swamy and others, a policewoman is seen setting fire to an auto, a group of policemen set fire to a row of auto-rickshaws and policemen repeatedly strike a two-wheeler lying on its side.

NDTV cannot verify the authenticity of the videos, which were posted last evening with allegations that the police deliberately fuelled violence and blamed it on the people who had been protesting peacefully in support of bull-taming festival Jallikattu.

Police are being accused to have torched vehicles to break up pro-Jallikattu protest in Tamil Nadu, India.
Police are being accused to have torched vehicles to break up pro-Jallikattu protest in Tamil Nadu, India.

Expressing shock, legendary actor Kamal Haasan today remarked: “I hope the cops in these videos are actors, not real.”

Chennai police chief S George, who had earlier called the videos morphed, has now said he will have the footage investigated.

“An intelligence officer informed me that there was a picture of policemen indulging in violence. It is just ridiculous. We will find out,” he said.

Speaking on Jallikattu violence, Tamil actor Kamal Haasan on Tuesday said the mass protest demonstrated on Marina beach was a symbol of discontent among Tamil people.

The actor said, “The agitation was a symbol of their discontent. I was a part of Hindi agitation; it was not against Hindi or people. We knew Gandhi Ji and Nehru Ji spoke in Hindi. It was on pressing the language on us and making us illiterate, It was about us losing government jobs. It was a series of events”.

“Everybody was making inflammatory speeches. This whole agitation came out of inflammation. I am just looking at the system from the media angle. We took it for too long. It cannot be sudden. I think we found a reason in Jallikattu,” he added.

Pro-Jallikattu protest in Tamil Nadu, India has turned violent after police forcibly evicted protestors.
Pro-Jallikattu protest in Tamil Nadu, India has turned violent after police forcibly evicted protestors.

Hours after the Chief Minister O.Panneerselvam-led Tamil Nadu government on Monday passed the Jallikattu Bill, a police crackdown on young protesters at the Marina beach in the state triggered widespread violence.

The ruling AIADMK has accused the DMK of circulating morphed videos to taint the administration.

In a video tweeted by DMK lawmaker J. Anbazhagan, women alleged that the police broke into their house and burnt down shops at a fish market.

“People were running, the police abused us very badly, lathi-charged us, behaved roughly…,” says one woman.

Another alleges that the police broke her doors when no one was home.

“How are we going to spend the night here with our two daughters? Why was our house damaged?” she asked.

The police say they have arrested around 40 “anti-social elements” for violence and arson yesterday.

Protests in support of Jallikattu, peaceful over the past week, took a violent turn yesterday after the police forcibly removed thousands from Marina Beach, the epicenter of the campaign to bring back the ancient festival banned by the Supreme Court.

A new law to restore the tradition was cleared by Tamil Nadu yesterday.

Replacing an ordinance promulgated two days ago to allow Jallikattu, the bill to amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1960 was unanimously adopted by the House after members of all parties spoke welcoming the legislative initiative.

The “Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Tamil Nadu Amendment), Act, 2017” was piloted by Chief Minister Panneerselvam and adopted by voice vote.

It was deemed to have come into effect on the day the ordinance was issued on January 21, 2017.

Pro-Jallikattu protest in Tamil Nadu, India has turned violent after police forcibly evicted protestors.
Pro-Jallikattu protest in Tamil Nadu, India has turned violent after police forcibly evicted protestors.

The government had promulgated the ordinance in a bid to defuse the raging protests across the state, especially at the Marina Beach, by students and others, demanding lifting of the ban on Jallikattu.

The bill defines Jallikattu as an event involving bulls conducted with a view to following tradition and culture from January to May and it includes similar events like ‘manjuviratu’, ‘vadamadu’ and ‘erudhuvidum’ festivals.

It noted that the Supreme Court had held Jallikattu as violative of the PCA Act (Sections 3, 11, and 22).

The bill further said considering the vital role of Jallikattu in preserving and promoting tradition and culture among people and also in view of ensuring the survival and continuance of native breeds of bulls, the “government of Tamil Nadu has decided to exempt Jallikattu from the provisions of the PCA Act”.

Paneerselvam explained the legal and factual background that necessitated the amendment bill.

Opposition Leader in Assembly M. K. Stalin was among those who spoke welcoming the bill.

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