An 18-year-old man was killed by a raging bull at the Avaniyapuram Jallikattu festival in Tamil Nadu’s Madurai on Friday. The popular bull-taming competition held on Pongal day in the district left about 80 people, including tamers, bull owners and spectators injured.
The teenager Balamurugan from Madurai was gored in the chest by a bull, the police said. He was rushed to the government Rajaji Hospital where he was declared brought dead by the doctors, a senior police official said.
The day-long traditional sport, which concluded at about 5.10 pm, saw Karthik from Avaniyapuram emerging on top by taming 24 bulls.
“I wish I had tamed a couple more to cross the quarter- century mark,” an exalted Karthik said.
Last year, he tamed 16 bulls. He lifted the trophy as the best tamer for this season and won a car.
Bull-tamers Murugan and Bharat Kumar of Madurai, who overpowered 19 and 11 bulls respectively won the second and third prize.
Not just the tamers, animals also won prizes. 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.
As many as 641 bulls stormed into the arena at Avaniyapuram here 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.
Though the events are held in other parts of Tamil Nadu, the three successive Jallikattu events in the district are major attractions every year.