Pithoragarh, July 16, 2015
Chief Minister Harish Rawat has agreed to take part in the Bagwal fair to be organised at the Barahi Devi temple in the Devidhura area in Champawat district between August 26 and September 5.
The Bagwal fair is known for traditional stone-throwing practices by rival groups before deity Barahi, the clan goddess of local ruling clans of ancient times.
At a preparatory meeting for the fair held at Champawat yesterday, Laxman Singh Lamgaria, a patron of the fair, said “Attacks by rival groups, which is the main attraction of the fair, will be held in August 29. Competing groups will throw flowers, peas, apples, pears and other local fruits at each other to demonstrate the traditional stone war, which has been stopped.”
“The stone throwing practice, which was aimed to shedding blood to show the quantity of blood in a person, has now been stopped and changed after court orders. Now, in place of stones, fruits and local flowers are used,” said Khushal Singh Adhikari, chairperson of the Champawat Zila Panchayat.
Strict adherence to law will be ensured during the fair and a large number of police personnel will be present at the fair venue. “We have decided to fix travel and meal rates, besides issuing badges to participants of each of the four traditional khams (local feudal clan) so that no anti-social element could enter the fair,” Champawat SP DS Kunwar said.
Champawat District Magistrate Dipendra Chaudhari said a 5-km area had been declared as mela area and the administration would ensure transportation facilities to all major towns from the mela ground. “We have also ordered officials and zila panchayat authorities to ensure drinking water, electricity, communication and health and sanitary services during the fair,” he added.
Courtesy: The Tribune

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