Rights group wants Andhra’s centuries-old ’stick fight’ ritual to stop

November 14th, 2007 - 2:40 am ICT by admin  
Villagers from Devaragattu and neighbouring villages, armed with sticks, fight for the God’s idol on Dussehra. Whoever wins the battle gets to keep the idol till the Dussehra next year, when the fight is held again.

Scores of people get injured in the fight. There have also been instances in which people got killed.

Taking cognizance of this barbaric tradition, the SHRC has ordered a probe into the matter.

SHRC Secretary S Chellappa visited the village earlier this month and submitted a report.

The commission has also issued a series of directives to the District Collector and the Superintendent of Police.

“We have conducted regular raids to confiscate the sticks being used in this ritual. The potential trouble makers are being identified and arrested,” said Shankarbrat Bagchi, Superintendent of Police, Kurnool.

The SHRC has asked the District Collector to educate and convince the villagers to take the God’s idol through negotiations or through lottery system or by rotation, instead of fighting. (ANI)

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