A sport that kills people, maims many

FPJ BureauUpdated: Thursday, May 30, 2019, 02:46 AM IST
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Hingot War Lethal traditional game on ‘Dhok Padwa’ claims life of one, injures 40.

Police had earlier seized Hingots from people selling them on streets but the crackdown failed to stop the game. A petition against the game is already pending with Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court.

  • Like every year, despite several requests by administration and police to refrain from holding Hingot war, residents of Gautampura and Runji villages this year too continued with the sporting event  Police refrain from filing any case since it is a tradition.

Indore : One person died and nearly 40 others were injured as people of two villages hurled firecrackers at one another as part of traditional ‘Hingot’ war game held on a ground near Gautampura village, about 60 kilometre from Indore, on Friday.

Despite several requests by district administration as well as local police to refrain from holding such lethal game, residents of Gautampura and Runji villages this year too continued with the traditional practice that takes place every year on Dhok Padwa, a day after Diwali.

“More than 36 persons were injured in the Hingot war this year. One of them sustained serious eye injury and was admitted to MY Hospital. While Kishore Chauhan, resident of Badnagar, succumbed to his injuries during treatment, the rest were discharged after giving primary treatment,” said police station in charge Anil Verma.

Verma said that Kishore was a spectator of the game and Hingot had hit his head, injuring him badly. He was though rushed to hospital, later succumbed to his injuries. Police have sent his body for post mortem and started investigation into case, the officer said.

However, despite a death and large number of people being injured in a public event, to one’s wonder police have refrained from filing any case in the incident since it was a traditional sporting event against which a petition is already pending in Indore bench of Madhya Pradesh High Court.

Verma said that they had earlier seized Hingots from people selling them on streets but the crackdown failed to stop Hingot war as people mostly develop the crackers locally and keep them hidden at homes beyond detection.

According to age old tradition of Hingot war, residents of Gautampura and Runji villages hurl firecrackers at one another on Dhok Padwa. Before starting the game, both the teams seek blessings from local deity and then assemble on either side of the ground to be greeted like warriors on battlefield. After the welcoming ceremony is over, both the teams attack each other with ‘Hingots’ (a hollow fruit stuffed with gunpowder), with ‘warriors’ fending off the flaming missiles with the help of shields.

While the intense firing of handmade and indigenous firecrackers is indeed a threat to life and health of participants of the war game, a large number of spectators too sustain minor to severe injuries every year at the annual event, with blazing hot Hingots catching its target unaware. While the ‘soldiers’ (players) use protective shields to safeguard self from the speeding crackers, bereft of that spectators are more prone to injury from the celebratory war game.

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