With the Supreme Court recently banning jallikattu, the bull-taming sport of Tamil Nadu, actor Riteesh Kumar, who formed the 'Tamilar Veera Vilayattu Jallikattu Padhukappu Nala Sangham' to protect the game, has appealed to the Supreme Court to lift the ban.
Talking to media persons at a press conference on Wednesday, Riteesh, who is the president of the association, said, "There are about 2.4 lakh members in this association. Each district has about 3,000 jallikattu bulls. They treat these bulls like their family deity and rear them. Even last year, they banned jallikattu around the same time and I fought against them and got the ban revoked with specific orders and guidelines given by the Supreme Court then. This time about 14 jallikattus have already taken place by following the guidelines after obtaining the specific district court's order."
He added, "About 242 villages in 11 districts are yet to conduct the sport. I am planning to meet TN Chief Minister M Karunanidhi and make a representation through him as well. With the judgment on my appeal reserved for February 13, I am confident that we will win the case this time also and no one will be able to stop us from organizing jallikattus."
Reacting to the Animal Welfare Board's observation that the sport is being commercialised, the actor said, "It is not a profession through which one can make money. It is a traditional game that has been played for over 500 years to show the braveness of Tamilians."
Earlier, Riteesh distributed financial aid of Rs 3 lakh to the families whose members were injured or died in the recent jallikattu.