Jan 8: The Centre on Friday gave nod to the popular yet controversial bull-taming sport, Jallikattu in Tamil Nadu. The Centre’s approval comes amidst of strong protest from animal right activists. The animal sport is an integral part of Pongal festivities which was banned by the Supreme Court in 2014. Also Read - After Nivar, Now Cyclone 'Burevi' to Hit Tamil Nadu on Dec 4, Second Storm Within Week Time

Bull-fight was banned after demands from right groups on animal cruelty and human death caused by it. Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan tweeted about the Centre’s decision to allow Jallikattu. (Also Read: DMK flays Jayalalithaa over ‘Jallikattu’; urges Centre to allow it) Also Read - Superstar Rajinikanth to Announce His Decision to Enter Politics Soon

Meanwhile, sources in the Animal Welfare Board of India confirmed that they will immediately challenge its order. Hinduatn Times quoted one the top officials saying, “We are hoping to make a mention today itself before the court. We anticipated this. We are surprised that the Centre is ready to diminish the stature of a Supreme Court order so brazenly.” Also Read - Tamil Nadu Extends COVID-19 Related Restrictions Till Dec 30 | What's Allowed, What Isn't - Full List

Union minister of state for roadways Pon Radhakrishnan told AN, “Prakash Javdekar called me now to give good news that arrangements to conduct allikattu in TN has been made. Thank our PM for facilitating this to happen. I thank everyone who supported Jallikattu.”

The sport is traditionally held during the four-day Pongal festival celebrated in mid-January in the state.