Tamil Nadu Police has dismissed the claim as fake news and clarified that there is no ban on animal sports such as Jallikattu or Kambala in the state.
A tweet claiming that the Tamil Nadu Police have banned all animal sports in the state till March has been doing the rounds on Twitter recently. Shared by YouTuber Savukku Shankar, the tweet was posted on February 2, 2023, when thousands of people blocked the Hosur-Bengaluru highway in Krishnagiri district in Tamil Nadu to protest the district administration's refusal to grant permission for "Eeruthu Vidu" or Jallikattu (a traditional bullfighting sport). According to several news reports, the protest had created a serious law and order situation, with at least 15 police personnel getting injured while trying to control the crowd. As tensions rode high in Krishnagiri, Shankar tweeted: “Sources: ADGP L&O (Additional Director-General of Police (Law and Order))issues circular banning all animal sports like Jallikattu, Kambala etc. The circular says all such request for permission should be rejected. Range DIGs (Deputy Inspector General of police) should discuss with SPs (Superintendent of Police) and take appropriate steps to prevent any law and order problem." In another tweet, he added, “This order of ADGP L&O will be in force till the end of March, says the circular. The circular follows the violent incidents at Hosur today.”
Logically contacted K Shankar, Tamil Nadu ADGP (Law and Order), to confirm whether a circular banning animal sports such as Jallikattu or Kambala (traditional buffalo race) was issued by the Tamil Nadu police. The police officer told Logically, "This news is fake. No circular on banning Jallikattu has been issued from ADGP or ADGP headquarters."
The official handle of the Tamil Nadu Police had also refuted the claim on Twitter. Quoting Savukku Shankar’s tweet on February 2, their official Twitter handle posted: "This is absolutely false information. No such circular has been issued. Legal action will be initiated against any person spreading such false information."
Tamil news channel Thanthi TV also reported that Tamil Nadu DGP has said there is no ban on Jallikattu, bullfighting, or other such competitions. “The rumor spread on social media is false. Strict action will be taken against rumor mongers,” the police officer had said.
We also found a live telecast of a Jallikattu event held in Manapparai town, Tiruchirappalli district, Tamil Nadu, on the YouTube channel of regional news outlet Sun TV on February 2, 2022, indicating that Jallikattu was held in many parts of Tamil Nadu. The video was titled "LIVE : Manaparai Jallikattu 2023 | Manaparai Jallikattu Festival | Sun News Live."
India Today reported that Jallikattu was not allowed to be held by the Krishnagiri district administration because of the lack of adequate safety precautions. Over the years, several concerns have been raised around the safety of participants and animals during Jallikattu processions. On January 16, 2023, a bull tamer and an audience member died in Tamil Nadu in two separate incidents during Jallikattu events.
The Tamil Nadu Police has dismissed rumors of issuing a circular on February 2 imposing a state-wide ban on Jallikattu and other traditional animal sports. Jallikattu events were held in several places in Tamil Nadu, on the same day. Therefore, we mark this claim false.