59 injured trying to break 'Dahi Handi'

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Mumbai, Aug 24 (UNI) Fiftynine people today suffered injuries during breaking of ''matkas'' across the city on the occasion of ''Dahi Handi'' festival that coincides with 'Janamashtami', birthday of lord Krishna.

According to official sources, 59 people were injured while breaking the ''matkas'' (earthen pots) till 1600 hours today.

Among them 47 were admitted to K E M Hospital, five to Nair hospital and seven to Lokmanya Tilak Memorial hospital (Sion).

The festival was celebrated with great religious fervour and enthusiasm with Govinda teams commuting across the city to scane huge prize money by breaking the ''Matkas'' (earthen pots).

The Govindas form human pyramids of eight to ten tiers to break the ''Dahi Handis'', containing a mixture of milk, dry fruits and ghee, and hung at a considerable height. They have to brave water cannons from onlookers who crate handles in their efforts.

Traditionally ''Dahi Handis'' are held as part of the Janmashtami celebrations to rejoice the birth of lord Krishna.

In recent times political parties vie with each others to organise ''Dahi Handis'' in the state offering huge prize money, ranging between Rs five lakh to 12 lakh. Adding colour to the glittering festive mood are Bollywood stars who throng the venues and egg the Govindas on in breaking the mud pots.

''Govinda Ala Re Ala'' chants rent the air even as the Govindas form pyramids and strategise their final goal.

There are more than 250 registered Dahi Handi mandals in the city and adjoining Thane district. This year the event has also attracted a Spanish woman group, which participated in one of the competitions.

The festivity was held amidst a tight vigil by the police, which even videographed the performances to avoid any untoward incidents in the wake of serial blasts in various cities including Bangalore and Ahmedabad.

'Gorakhanath' a Mahila Dahi-Handi Pathak (Women Dahi-Handi organisation) from Kurla also makes a five-tier human pyramid and earn good prize money every year.


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