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2017 Events that Shook Chennai

Jallikattu Protest

The 2017 pro-jallikattu protests, also known as the pro-jallikattu movement or Thai Puratchi refers to the collection of many decentralized protests and a large protest at Marina Beach between 8 Jan 2017 – 23 Jan 2017. The main reason of the protest was the Supreme Court’s order decision citing cruelty to animals based on a lawsuit filed by the animal rights activists group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Historically the sport in conducted annually on the second day of the Tamil month Thai.

The protest was largely peaceful and silent inspite of an estimated 20 lakh people who joined the protests in Marina Beach. The movement has been described as a symbol for Tamil pride and has largely been compared to the anti-Hindi agitations of Tamil Nadu and dubbed by many as ‘Thai Puratchi’.

The main demands of the protest were:

  • To declare an ordinance to ensure the removal of ‘bulls’ from the ‘list of performing animals’ as per the Prevention of Cruelty to Animal (PCA) Act (1960).
  • To seek permanent solution for jallikattu, by passing a permanent act to conduct jallikattu every year.
  • To ban People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in India.

Sasikala Sentenced

The long time friend of former Chief Minister Ms J Jayalalitha was sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment. This brought down curtains on a long running cases with numerous extensions. Before going to jail, she appointed EPS as the Chief Minister and made Mr Dinakaran as the AIADMK party general secretary. Many incidents both before and after the arrest were very dramatic for many citizens of Chennai.

Edapadi Paneervam becomes Chief Minister

Edappadi Palaniswami took charge as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, ending the 10-day long bitter feud between AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala and former CM O Panneerselvam.

O Paneerselvam (OPS) Meditation

In a move that stunned his political opponents and caught journalists and everyone else by surprise, Tamil Nadu’s caretaker Chief Minister O Panneerselvam lashed out at the Sasikala faction within AIADMK and effectively put a spanner in their attempt to make Sasikala the next Chief Minister.

After meditating for nearly 40 minutes at late Jayalalithaa’s memorial at Marina Beach, he broke his silence before the media, saying his “good work” for the state had irritated Sasikala.
OPS claimed party leaders said he had to take initiative towards making Sasikala the Chief Minister and that’s how he was forced to tender his resignation.

Anitha Suicide

A 17-year old Scheduled Caste girl, S. Anitha, who had scored 1,176 out of 1,200 marks in her Class XII State Board examinations but was unable to join the MBBS course due to poor scores in NEET, ended her life in Ariyalur district.
The daughter of a daily wage labourer, hailing from Kuzhumur village near Sendurai here, had impleaded herself as one of the respondents in a Supreme Court case challenging NEET.

Her death triggered strong reactions from political parties and social activists who had been seeking exemption for the State from NEET. Condoling her death, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami offered a solatium of ₹7 lakh from the CM’s Relief Fund to her family and a job offer to one of the family members.
If medical admissions had been held on the basis of Plus Two scores as was in vogue for the past decade, Anitha, having scored centum in Physics, 199 in Chemistry and 194 in Biology (she also scored centum in Mathematics), would have secured a cut-off of 196.75 out of 200.

Family Self Immolation

Unable to bear the harassment by a moneylender, a man along with his wife and two children set themselves ablaze at the Tirunelveli Collectorate office on Monday. They were admitted to hospital with severe burn injuries.

The family was unable to bear the pressure of a moneylender who wanted more money over the principal and interest, the brother of Isaki Muthu, who attempted self-immolation, told reporters.
According to police, Muthu had borrowed around Rs 1.40 lakh from a loan shark at a high-interest rate. Despite paying back Rs 2 lakh the moneylender was pressing for more and threatened the borrower.

Muthu had earlier petitioned the police and District Collector to save his family from the moneylender, but it went in vain.

RK Nagar Elections

The MLA seat that was left vacant after the demise of former chief minister Ms J Jayalalitha, is now in election mode.