Alanganallur (TN), Jan 17 (Agencies): At least 72 competitors were hurt, 11 of them seriously, in the popular jallikattu (taming the bull) event here in Madurai district on Monday  which was cut short after a section of spectators turned violent and clashed with police resulting in the injury to 40 more people.

Police baton charged twice -- once to quell stone- pelting people at the venue and then to disperse a group blocking roads protesting the action.

Over 40 persons, including seven policemen, were injured in violence and and the baton charge, police said.

Earlier, the event, which attracted a large number of people, including foreign tourists, got off to a brisk start with participation of over 570 bulls from various parts of the state.

At least 72 persons were injured, 11 of them seriously, trying to tame the charging bulls. The seriously injured were admitted to government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai while the others were treated at a medical camp near the venue.

Trouble broke when police asked the spectators to move away from the zone earmarked for owners of bulls which came out untamed. Some persons threw stones at police, injuring some of their personnel. Police then baton charged in which 20 spectators were injured.

Police baton charged again when a group of people blocked the road condemning the action at the venue.
   
As the situation went out of control, District Collector C Kamaraj called off the jallikattu with about 40 bulls yet to be released into the ground.

Thousands of peoples, including foreign tourists, had gathered at the venue here to witness the traditional sport of rural Tamil Nadu held as part of the Pongal festival annually.

More than 1,200 police personnel were deployed for the event, which was held as per Supreme Court guidelines issued in the wake of complaints from animal rights activists about cruelty to the bulls, besides casualties among spectators.

Meanwhile, another seriously injured person, gored by a bull at the Jallikattu at Avaniapuram near here yesterday, died at a hospital without responding to treatment,   taking the toll at the vent to two, officials said.