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Need to legalise Goa dhirios on lines of TN's jallikattu: Ex CM

Panaji, Oct 12 (IANS) The traditional sport of bullfighting or dhirio should be allowed in Goa on the lines of jallikattu in Tamil Nadu, Nationalist Congress Party MLA and former Chief Minister Churchill Alemao said on Tuesday.

Alemao was talking to reporters on the sidelines of a business advisory committee meeting of the state legislative assembly.

"Dhirios should be held. Where is the cruelty? Jallikattu is held anyway," Alemao said.

He also said that he was looking to propose a bill in the upcoming session of the state legislative assembly on the lines of similar bill in Tamil Nadu which provides legal cover to the man-animal sport, which has been slammed by animal rights activists, who claim that it amounts to meting out cruel treatment to beasts used in the sport.

Although a banned sport, traditional bullfights or dhirios are an "open secret" in Goa, with several such fights organised in the coastal open areas and paddy fields.

Unlike Jallikattu, which involves men chasing bulls, the sport of dhirio is about two bulls fighting in an arena, until one emerges victorious. Bulls often receive bloody injuries or cramps during the ordeal which sometimes lasts up to half an hour.

The issue of legalising dhirios, which are popular in Goa, especially along the coastal belt, often crops up ahead of state assembly polls.