Three people died and over 100 suffered injuries during the stick-fight ritual as part of Banni festival, held on the intervening night of Tuesday and Wednesday, at Devaragattu village under Holagunda mandal in Kurnool district of Andhra Pradesh.
Incidentally, Holagunda, which lies on the border of Siruguppa taluk in Ballari district, is home to a large number of Kannada speakers.
Three people died after they fell off a tree branch while trying to escape a torch hurled in their direction. Two others have sustained grievous injuries in the incident.
The Kurnool police have identified the deceased as Ganesh (19), Ramanjeyalu (59), both natives of Kurnool district, and Prakash (30), a native of Ballari. Several people had climbed on to tree branches to get a better view of the festivities.
In the traditional stick fight, over 100 suffered injuries. A large number of people took part in the ritual, held as part of Malamma-Malleshwara Kalyanotsava, where people from various villages of the mandal, fight with sticks to get hold of ceremonial idols of local deities. However, no fatalities were reported in the stick fight this year.
(Published 25 October 2023, 23:55 IST)