Bizarre Indian ritual sees villagers riot – with many injured and one young boy killed
A deadly riot appears to spiral out of control – but this brutal battle is in fact an ancient Indian religious ritual.
The bizarre spectacle takes place at a temple each year on the Karnataka-Andhra Pradesh border in India.
People from around 30 villages from both states descend on one location armed with sticks, before violently attacking each other in a “mock-fight”.
Either side hurls stones and uses sticks to attack their rivals – and hijack processional deities to their villages, something considered a good omen.
The villagers of Neraniki, who are the ‘protectors’, fight all night to stop the deities from being taken from them, which often goes on until dawn.
But proceedings frequently turn bloody – with this years event seeing 30 people injured and one young boy killed, according to police.
Traditionally the villagers used machetes, axes, spears and other deadly weapons. But in a bid to tame the event, authorities introduced mock-fights.
However, passionate villagers frequently descend into rioting, with police helpless to quell it.