On October 29, Hindustan Times published a report titled, “Russian president Putin may witness Tamil Nadu’s bull-taming sport Jallikattu in January”, which cited a top official from Tamil Nadu’s Madurai district. According to the report, the official said, “The world-famous Alanganallur (a village near Madurai) Jallikkatttu event ahead of Pongal festival attracts thousands of viewers. People from foreign countries routinely visit the spot to witness Jallikkattu. We have heard that Putin would visit the event along with the PM Modi”.

OpIndia also reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin “may attend” the popular bull-taming sport Jallikattu in January 2020. The report cited a Oneindia Tamil article as the source.

MyNation published a similar report titled, “After hosting Chinese president Xi Jinping, Tamil Nadu is all ready to host Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.”

Similar claim floated on social media

A few users also made the same claim on Twitter.

PIB calls it fake news

Press Information Bureau (PIB) Gujarat took to Twitter and rubbished speculations of President Putin and PM Modi attending Jallikattu in 2020.

News agency ANI also tweeted dismissing reports of President Putin visiting Tamil Nadu along with PM Modi for the festival.

Hindustan Times has now quietly updated its initial report without an update. The now-changed title of the story reads, “Russian president Vladimir Putin not visiting Tamil Nadu to watch Jallikattu”. You can access the cached version of the article here.

OpIndia’s initial report was titled, “Russian Putin may attend Jallikattu, the bull-taming festival in Madurai, next year,” that was later changed to – “Reports of Russian President Vladimir Putin attending Jallikattu, the bull-taming festival, in Madurai next year false: Report”. The right-wing website added an update to its article which said, “News has now emerged that media reports of Russian President Vladimir Putin attending Jallikattu in Madurai along with Prime Minister Modi are false.”

My Nation has now deleted its article. You can access a cached version here.

Jallikattu is a part of the three-day-long Pongal festival where a bull is let loose on a group of people. The participants are then supposed to take control of the bull by holding on to its hump as long as they can.

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About the Author

Jignesh is a writer and researcher at Alt News. He has a knack for visual investigation with a major interest in fact-checking videos and images. He has completed his Masters in Journalism from Gujarat University.