Indore (Madhya Pradesh) [India], November 15 (ANI): The age-old tradition of annual Hingot War, which is observed a day after Diwali by two groups -- Kalangi and Turra -- attacking each other with burning hingots in Gautampur village of Depalpur, is not being celebrated this year for the first time in history, Congress MLA Vishal Patel said on Saturday.
Patel, Congress MLA from Depalpur constituency, said that authorities did not give permission for celebrating the Hingot War this year due to COVID-19 pandemic even though election campaigns which also witnessed huge gatherings were allowed.
"For the first time in history, the age-old tradition of Hingot War will not be celebrated this year. The authorities did not give permission for the event this year over the excuse of the COVID-19 pandemic and avoiding gathering," Patel told reporters here.
He accused the BJP of hurting the religious sentiments of the people and said authorities should not interfere with the traditional events and should give permission as soon as possible.
"We argued that elections were held. In campaigns, thousands of people gathered for rallies. Permission was given for rallies and election campaign. Authorities should not interfere with the traditional war. The BJP is hurting the religious sentiments of the people," Patel said.
"Hingot war has been happening for decades now. There are no winners or losers. Just the traditions are being kept alive. Hindu sentiments are being hurt. We condemn this," he added.
Patel said that he had also written a letter to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan seeking to grant permission for the Hingot War, but added that he did not receive any response.
Gautampura Tehsildar Bajrang Bahadur said that no permission has been given for organising this event in view of the COVID-19 pandemic as it attracts a gathering of around 15,000 to 20,000 people and could spread the virus.
"According to the orders of the state government and District Collector, all events which gather large crowds can not be allowed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That is why the Hingot War will not be observed this year. No permission has been given for the same," Bahadur said.
The traditional Hingot War is celebrated on the day after Diwali on Dhok Padwa, where two groups of people -- Kalangi and Turra-- attack each other with burning hingots. Turra team belongs to Runji village while Kalangi team belongs to Gautampura village, about 59 km from Indore in Madhya Pradesh. (ANI)