Free Press Journal

110 injured in traditional stone-pelting in MP’s Gotmaar Mela


Chhindwara (Madhya Pradesh): As many as 110 people were injured in the traditional stone-pelting on Sunday in the annual Gotmaar Mela here in Madhya Pradesh, police said. The Gotmaar (hitting with pellets) fair is held in Chhindwara district every year.

On the second day of the Pola festival (when bullocks, the traditional draught animals, are worshipped), people of Pandhurna and Sawargaon, on the other side of the Jam river, gather at the Chandi temple and hurl stones at each other as part of a tradition, remembering a pair of lovers who sacrificed their lives.

At least 110 people sustained minor injuries in the stone-pelting on Sunday, Superintendent of Police Mithilesh Shukla told IANS. He said arrangements were made beforehand to treat the injured at the fair itself.

According to legend, a boy from Sawargaon fell in love with a girl from Pandhurna. He eloped with the girl, and villagers chased the couple and hurled stones at them. The couple died in the incident, following which the two villages clashed and pelted stones at each other. The Gotmaar Mela is held every year in the couple’s memory.