District Collector Saurabh Kumar Suman said on Tuesday that the Gotmar fair passed off peacefully this year and lesser people were injured when compared to previous year, adding that he had appealed to people to organise such events only in a symbolic manner.
It is a centuries-old and one of the bloodiest fairs in the world. People of two villages – Savargaon and Pandhurna – throng either sides of river Jaam during the fair where a tree is erected in the middle of the river with a flag on top.
Both the sides approach the tree to remove the flag by pelting stones (called Got) at each other and those who remove the flag first, are declared winners.
More than 400 people were injured in traditional stone pelting in Madhya Pradesh during the annual ‘Gotmar’ fair on Tuesday. The fair was organised on the banks of river Jaam in Chhindwara district.
The district administration had deployed 1,000 policemen and a team of 35 doctors at the site of the fair, news agency PTI reported. The event was monitored by drones, PTI added.
“During the Gotmar fair on Tuesday, over 400 people sustained injuries. Two people with severe injuries have been referred to Nagpur in neighbouring Maharashtra for further treatment,” Chief Medical Health Officer (CMHO) Dr GC Chourasia said.