In a surprising incident, over 400 people suffered injuring during the annual `Gotmaar' (stone-pelting) festival in Chhindwara district of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday. The police informed that out of them 12 of the people suffered serious injuries during the stone-pelting festival. District Superintendent of Police Manoj Rai said that the seriously injured ones were admitted to the government hospital at Pandhurna in Madhya Pradesh immediately. As per the officials, over 800 police personnel and a team of doctors were deployed during the festival, along with drone cameras.
During the stone-pelting festival, residents of Sawargaon and Pandhurna, two villages divided by the Jaam river, gather on opposite banks and race to snatch a flag hoisted on a dead tree fixed in the middle of the river while throwing stones at the other side. On Saturday, as Pandhurna residents grabbed the flag, they were declared winners this time. It is a 300-years-old tradition in Madhya Pradesh, which started when a boy from Pandhurna eloped with a girl from Sawargaon and faced a volley of stones when he was crossing the river with her. Villagers from Pandhurna came to their help, and the couple crossed over safely.
Uttarakhand's 'Stone pelting festival' - Bagwal is a yearly tradition held in the district to appease the Goddess Barahi on the occasion of Raksha Bandhan. This year, while celebrating the festival, more than 120 people injured. 'Bagwal' stone pelting festival takes place in Champawat in Uttarakhand. A part of the ritual is to appease a local deity.
Uttar Pradesh's Nandgaon village celebrates the festival of 'lathmar holi' where women from the neighbouring Barsana village 'beat' Nanadgaon men with lathis. According to local legends, this festival occurs days preceding Holi, following Lord Krishna's story that he visited his beloved Radha and ended up teasing her friends. The women, as legends claim, chased Krishna with sticks (lathis), which is why the festival is celebrated.
(With PTI inputs)