30 injured in traditional Diwali ‘war’


Indore : At least 30 people were injured during the traditional ‘Hingot war’ between two villages on the second day of Diwali festivities in Madhya Pradesh’s Indore district, eyewitnesses said.

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“While eyewitnesses claim that as many as 30 participants suffered burns and other injuries during the war that lasted more than two hours on Sunday, we have only 10-12 reported cases,” police said Monday.

Residents from Gautampura and Runji villages hurl fire crackers called Hingot at each other on ‘Dhok Padwa’ – a day after Diwali – in a re-enactment of the wars of the ancient days.

Hingot is a pointed cracker that goes up in the air like a missile or a rocket. It derives its name from the hard-shelled wild fruit which is dried before gunpowder is filled in it and a piece of bamboo attached to it to give it a flight trajectory.

Besides the players, many spectators were also injured as they did not have any protective shield.

“In many cases, these missiles are misdirected and land among the spectators who throng the sidelines to watch the show,” Anil Kumar, a police official, told IANS by phone from Indore.

Before the battle, the participants seek blessings of the gods. The two teams then assemble on either side of a ground where they are welcomed like warriors on battlefield and then attack each other with Hingot.

“Few people, who sustained minor injuries were taken to the nearby hospital in Indore where they were discharged after first aid. The police have, however, refrained from filing any case since it is a traditional sporting event,” said Inspector D.S. Baghel.