NEW DELHI, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Two people were killed and scores injured Sunday as bullfighting sport - Jallikattu resumes in southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, officials said.
The otherwise banned Jallikattu restarted in the state after local and India's federal government passed an executive order regarding resumption of the tradition to invalidate the ban on it.
The executive order was passed in wake of ongoing massive protests in the state seeking lifting of ban on Jallikattu.
"In Tamil Nadu, two persons were killed when they were injured in Jallikattu in Pudukottai district," state-run broadcaster - All India Radio said. "The bull-taming sport was inaugurated by state Health and Family Welfare Minister C Vijayabhaskar."
Local media reports put the number of injured in the district at 129.
However, the main event to hold the Jallikattu that was scheduled to be inaugurated by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam at Alanganallur was cancelled after locals foiled the event. The protesters fearing legal hindrances were demanding a "permanent resolution" of the issue by bringing an amendment to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
"The ban on Jallikattu has been removed completely. The sport will be held at Alanganallur on a date decided by local people," Panneerselvam later told reporters.
Ahead of passing the ordinance, Panneerselvam met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, following which India's federal government cleared the local government's proposal for the executive order.
India's apex court which has put ban on the sport agreed to federal government's request on Friday to defer its judgment on Jallikattu.
Tamil Nadu Governor Vidyasagar Rao has approved the executive order by the local government.
Thousands of people including youth and women have gathered on Marina beach in Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu, since Tuesday for their protest on the sixth straight day. The protesters demand an everlasting order for Jallikattu.
A number of Tamil celebrities including world chess champion Vishwanathan Anand, Oscar-winning music composer A R Rahman and superstar Rajinikanth supported protests and sought resumption of Jallikattu as symbol of Tamil culture and pride.
Paneerselvam said his government would soon replace the ordinance by introducing a new law in the state's lawmaking body.
Jallikattu was banned since 2014 after animal rights activists seeking prevention of cruelty to animals appealed to India's top court that bulls in the sport were "severely harmed."
Last year India's federal government amended its order and issued a notification saying bulls may continue to be exhibited or trained as a performing animal, at events such as Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu subject to conditions and proper supervision. The government order evoked strong condemnation from animal rights bodies.
However, the Supreme Court of India upheld the ban in 2016 and suspended the federal government notification of allowing Jallikattu after various bodies including Animal Welfare Board of India filed petitions to challenge it.
Following the ban no major Jallikattu events were organized.
The sport was traditionally practised as part of the harvest festival of Pongal. Jallikattu involves men chasing bull attempting to grab its hump and ride it for as long as possible or stop it and remove piece of cloth affixed to its horns.
Over the years, many people have been gored or trampled to death during the sport. Even bulls suffer injures and sometimes get killed in such contests.