Chennai: An 18-year-old boy was killed and around 80 others, including tamers, bull owners and spectators were injured by a raging bull at the Avaniyapuram Jallikattu festival in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai on Friday. The popular bull-taming competition was held on Pongal day. A teenager named Balamurugan from Madurai was gored in the chest by a bull. He was rushed to the government Rajaji Hospital where he was declared brought dead by the doctors. According to an official, the injured includes 38 bull tamers, 24 bull owners, and 18 spectators.
Though the events are held in other parts of Tamil Nadu, three successive Jallikattu events in the district of Madurai are the major attraction every year. As many as 641 bulls stormed into the arena at Avaniyapuram on Friday, setting off the jallikattu competitions during the Pongal harvest festival in the district. The Madurai district will host the traditional sport at Palamedu on Saturday and culminate with the grand finale at Alanganallur on Monday. The event at Alanganallur, a world famous one, is being held on Monday instead of Sunday as a complete lockdown has been imposed in view of the rise in number of COVID-19 cases in the state. The Tamil Nadu government had allowed Jallikattu with 300 bulls and 150 spectators.
The day-long traditional sport, which concluded at about 5.10 pm, saw Karthik from Avaniyapuram emerging on top by taming 24 bulls. Bull-tamers Murugan and Bharat Kumar of Madurai, who overpowered 19 and 11 bulls respectively won the second and third prize. The bull belonging to Devasagayam of Manapparai was judged the best bull as none succeeded in taming him. The one belonging Ramu of Avaniyapuram and another bull owned by Pratish of Avaniyapuram were ranked the second and third best respectively.