Bhopal: Over 168 people were reported to be injured during ‘Gotmaar’ festival (stone-pelting fair) celebrated annually in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhindwara district.
Chhindwara, District collector, Shriniwas Sharma told news agency ANI that police personnel had to be deployed to monitor the situation. He added that no one was seriously injured.
“There is adequate arrangement. Police personnel have been deployed everywhere. Drones are being used to monitor the area. 168 people are injured so far. There’s adequate facility for them. No one has been seriously injured,” Chhindwara, District collector, Shriniwas Sharma said.
In the festival, residents of two villages– Sawargaon and Pandhurna– participate against each other. They gather on the opposite side of Jaam river and race to pick a flag on a dead tree fixed in the middle of the river. They also throw stones at each other.
It is a 300-year-old tradition. As per a legend, 3oo years ago, a boy from Pandhurna tried to elope with a girl from Sawargaon. However, they were thrown stones at while crossing the river. But, villagers of Sawargaon came to their rescue and helped them cross the river safely.
People have also died during this festival in the past.