Ex-servicemen threaten to return medals to protest ban on jallikattu

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An ex-serviceman has sought to return his gallantry award received for his participation in the Kargil War, upset over non-conduct of jallikattu in Tamil Nadu.

R Selvaramalingam, a former Indian Air Force personnel hailing from Konganapuram village in Salem district, met District Collector P Sampath in the Collectorate and wanted to return the medal to the central government through him.

ex-serviceman return

However, Sampath told the ex-serviceman that he had no power to accept the medal, following which the latter left the collectorate, official sources said.

Earlier, Selvaramalingam, who had served IAF from 1995 to 2015, in a letter to the Collector said he was pained that the traditional sport jallikkattu was not allowed to be conducted in the last three years.

“I have decided to return the gallantry medal given by the Centre for 1998 Kargil war victory to the government. I will take it back only after the ban is lifted and jallikkattu is conducted,” he said in the letter.

Meanwhile, a joint meeting of various Tamil outfits on Wednesday called for a dawn to dusk bandh in support of jallikattu here on January 20 .

A spokesman of the pro-jallikattu outfits comprising of representatives of various Tamil organisations including Tamilar Desiya Iyakkam and Naam Tamizhar katchi told newsmen that the bandh is also to demanding to ban the PETA.

The outfits have formed an Action committee which includes various students organisations and non political units extending support to jallikattu to spearhead various agitations in Union Territory.

Elsewhere in neighbouring Puducherry, the ruling Congress announced its support to the dawn to dusk bandh called by various Tamil and students outfits. Puducherry PCC leader and PWD Minister A Namassivayam said in a release that the NDA government at the Centre was turning a deaf ear to all the agitations now under way in Tamilnadu seeking lifting  of the ban.

“An abnormal situation is prevailing in Tamilnadu and the Centre has not taken this into consideration and has failed to bring in an ordinance to lift the ban on the traditional sport of Tamil” he said and announced the support of the bandh called by the Tamil and student outfits.

Secretary of the Puducherry state committee of the CPI repeat CPI R Viswanathan also announced his party`s support to the call for bandh. He said that the Centre should ban the PETA.

(With agencies inputs)

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