Young man gored to death during controversial ‘bull taming’ event in India

Image of a bull tamer tackling a bull during the Jallikattu event. Credit: Wikipedia - By Iamkarna' - Own work', CC BY 3.0,

A controversial ‘bull taming’ event called Jallikattu saw a young man gored to death in India.


According to officials in the town of Palamedu in Madurai district, at least one person was gored to death during a bull-taming competition in India last weekend.

As reported by India Today on Monday, January 16, the deceased was taking part in the controversial Jallikattu event in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

The injured man – said to be in his 20s – was rushed to the Madurai Rajaji Government hospital. Doctors did their best to treat him but he sadly succumbed to his injuries on Tuesday 17.

He was named locally as Aravind Rajan who had nine of the bulls in Palamedu before being fatally gored. Six more people were admitted to the same medical facility with varying injuries sustained in the event.

Police officials in the Tamil Nadu’s Madurai district reported that a total of 31 people had suffered injuries during the Jallikattu event. Around 800 bulls were released from their pens during this year’s event, with 335 bull tamers taking part.

At least another 15 were injured at a similar event staged in nearby Andhra Pradesh over the same days, according to India Today.

Jallikattu is believed to be one of the oldest sporting activities in the world. It dates back more than 2,000 years and heralds the arrival of the winter harvest in India each year. As the name implies, the objective is not to kill the bulls, but to try and simply get the better of the animals.

A maximum of 25 bull tamers are allowed inside the arena at any given time, and only for 45 minutes. Each bull has a flag attached to its horns and the participants must attempt to remove the flag and even try to totally stop the creature.

Scores of would-be bull tamers have been injured during this event through the years, including spectators. Around 1,500 policemen were deployed for the event, along with 160 medical staff, six ambulances, and 60 vets, all prepared for emergencies.

In 2014, India’s Supreme Court triggered mass protests in Tamil Nadu when it actually banned Jallikattu. Three years later, in 2017, the Tamil Nadu state government won a hard-fought battle to have the ban lifted. It was claimed by animal rights activists that before the bulls were released they were cruelly fed alcohol.


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]