Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Demand for Kambala: Hours after protest, Karnataka says will amend law

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah said the government would take steps to ensure that a “popular and cultural event” such as Kambala was held, as per people's wish.

By: ENS & PTI | Bengaluru |
January 29, 2017 3:35:41 am
kambala, karnataka bull sports, karnataka protest, kambala protest, india news, siddaramaiah kambala, karnataka cm kambala, latest news Bengaluru: Members of NSUI hold placards as they shout slogans to lift the ban on Kambala, a traditional sport of Buffalo in Bengaluru on Wednesday. (Source: PTI Photo)

HOURS after nearly 10,000 people led more than 150 buffaloes in a protest march in Moodbidri area of Dakshina Kannada district in coastal Karnataka on Saturday to demand legalisation of Kambala, a traditional buffalo-racing sport popular in the region, the Karnataka government said it would amend the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act to pave the way for it. “The Cabinet has decided to move a draft Bill in the legislature session scheduled from February 6 to February 10. It will allow Kambala and bullock-cart racing, which will be enabled by amending the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act and therefore considered a normal traditional sport,” Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra told reporters. Kambala was being held for nearly 600 years and does not cause any cruelty to animals, he said, adding that not a single death had taken place due to the folk sport in recent years.

Earlier, CM Siddaramaiah said the government would take steps to ensure that a “popular and cultural event” such as Kambala was held, as per people’s wish. He also asked for the Centre’s support in view of the protests. While the organisers of the protest on Saturday, under the Dakshina Kannada Kambala Samiti, had intended to hold a Kambala race to defy a November 22, 2016, Karnataka High Court order staying holding of the sport, local authorities dissuaded the organisers against violating the court order.

Kambala committees have filed an interim application seeking vacation of the stay; the matter is up for a hearing on January 31. Among those who participated in Saturday’s protest, which demanded an ordinance on the lines of the Jallikattu ordinance in Tamil Nadu to legalise Kambala events, was local Congress MLA Abhaychandra Jain and BJP MP Nalin Kumar Kateel. Jain leads a Kambala committee in Moodbidri.

Saturday’s march covered a 3-km route near Moodbidri-Karkala national highway and concluded at Kadalakere Nisargadhama. Speakers said Kambala should not be viewed as a sport involving violence against animals but as a cultural practice linked to agriculture.

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