200-year-old fireball-fight banned in MP, locals threaten to boycott civic poll

Breaking the 200-year-old tradition, Indore district administration on Sunday succeeded in stopping Hingot—the fight with fireballs– that used to leave scores of people injured every year.

Heavy police force was deployed in Gautampura area after Indore district administration cited Covid-19 pandemic to turn down the request for holding of annual Hingot—a 200-year-old tradition. Indore district collector Manish Singh issued an order banning organisation of Hingot since it encourages participation of hundreds of people and would make it impossible to check for violations of Covid 19 protocols.

However, the decision of putting a ban on age-old tradition didn’t go down well with locals. Congress leaders also criticised the BJP-led state government for the decision of ban.

A resident of Gautampura, Manoj Parmar said, “We wanted to do a symbolic fight to keep the tradition alive but administration and police didn’t allow us. We are planning to boycott local bodies’ elections which are slated to be held in January.”

Congress MLA Vishal Patel said, “On one side, chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan asked people to burst crackers on Diwali by defying National Green Tribunal’s order to keep the tradition alive but on the other side, BJP-led state government put a ban on an age-old tradition which is a matter of faith of people of Gautampura and Kalangi.”

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During the by-elections, they didn’t think of gathering hundreds of people but now they are showing concern. This is a double standard of the government and people will make the BJP-led state government realise this in local bodies’ election.

However, Indore, deputy inspector general (DIG) of police, HN Mishra said, “It is a wrong tradition and should be banned. This year, the administration put a ban on it but people themselves didn’t come out for the fight. The ban was completed successfully.”

Last year, more than 70 people had sustained injuries in the fight.

According to this tradition, the warriors — ‘Turra’ of Gautampura and ‘Kalangi’ of Runji village — attack each other with burning hingots, a hollow fruit stuffed with gun powder that resembles a shooting star.

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