Amidst reports that bull-taming sport Jallikattu was being organised in Tamil Nadu despite a Supreme Court stay on it, animal rights activists have requested the Centre to impose President’s Rule in the state for “deliberate and malicious non-implementation” of the apex court decision.
In a letter to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, the activists said, “We request the central government to direct the state government to implement the law.”
“In the event that there is a continuing disregard to thelaw, we beseech you to exercise powers under Article 356 of the Constitution and ensure that the situation is taken under control and the law of the land is given the respect it deserves,” it said.
The demand came after the SC refused to pass before the harvest festival of Pongal on Saturday its judgement on a batch of petitions challenging the Centre’s notification in January, 2016, allowing the use of bulls in events like Jallikattu.
The SC had earlier put a stay on the notification.
The letter has been written by N G Jayasimha, 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.
Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy also made the demand of imposition of President’s Rule in Tamil Nadu in case the state failed to enforce the ban on Jallikattu.
Swamy tweeted, “If Jallikattu is held without awaiting SC judgment permitting it and Tamil Nadu Govt fails to enforce the law, Centre must declare President’s Rule.”
These appeals follow media reports of Jallikattu being held today in Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu.
The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu too has said that he will “ensure that Jallikattu is held and will not back off even a bit.”
AIADMK General Secretary V K Sasikala has also written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking promulgation of an ordinance for conduct of Jallikattu and a delegation of AIADMK MPs submitted a memorandum to the PMO yesterday seeking removal of “bulls” from the list of performing animals to allow the sport to be held.
The Supreme Court had in 2014 said that bulls could not be used as performing animals, either for Jallikattu events or bullock-cart races in the states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra or elsewhere in the country, and had banned their use across the country.
However, the Centre had last year issued a notification lifting the ban on Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu with certain restrictions, which has been challenged in the apex court by Animal Welfare Board of India, People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, a Bangalore-based NGO and others.
The SC had late last year rejected a petition of Tamil Nadu government and others seeking revision of its 2014 order.