One person died and 50 others were injured during a melee in the Banni festival at Devaragattu village on Sunday. The victim was identified as M Eeranna (60), a native of Suavai village, Aalur.
Despite elaborate arrangements by the police, there was a stampede-like situation at the festival, leading to panic and chaos. In this melee, Eeranna suffered a heart attack and succumbed, while 50 others were injured.
Nearly 1,500 police personnel were deployed to prevent any untoward incident, yet the stampede-like situation occurred, reported The New Indian Express.
Police are verifying videos to determine what caused the stampede-like situation. No official complaint has been filed in this regard though, the TNIE report added.
In the Banni festival, also known as Karrala Samaram festival, thousands of visitors flock to visit the Hillock, Devaragattu in Kurnool to witness the celebrations which involves clashes between two groups with sticks, to enact the battle between Lord Shiva and the demons.
In this mock stick-fight, participants try and take possession of two deities, believing it would bring prosperity to their village.