Karnataka teen killed during Kurnool 'Banni festival', 70 injured

The district administration had launched campaigns to sensitise the public to stay away from the festival. However, more than two lakh people from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana showed up for the annual event.

By Newsmeter Network  Published on  6 Oct 2022 2:34 PM GMT
Karnataka teen killed during Kurnool Banni festival, 70 injured

Kurnool: One teenager was killed while about 70 people were injured during the annual stick fight festival, or the 'Banni festival', which was organised on Dussehra in Kurnool district. Similar incidents were reported during the 2020 festival when 50 people were injured. The festival was organised at Holagunda mandal in Kurnool district on the night of 5 October.

The victim was a 17-year-old boy from Karnataka, identified as Ravindranath Reddy, who died due to a cardiac arrest. The police rushed him to the Adoni Hospital where he was declared dead by the doctors.

The district administration had launched campaigns to sensitise the public to stay away from the festival. However, more than two lakh people from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, and Telangana showed up for the annual event.


The stick fight is part of the annual Dussehra celebrations for Srimala Malleswara Swamy. On Dussehra night, the event started late due to heavy rain in the area. Despite the police and district administration making all arrangements to keep the festival incident-free, many people were injured while fighting with sticks. The injured were shifted to Aluru and Adoni government hospitals for treatment.

What is the Banni festival?

Banni festival is celebrated on the night of Vijaya Dasami every year to celebrate the victory of Lord Mala Malleswara Swamy and Goddess Parvati Devi over demons Mani and Mallasura who used to trouble noblemen and saints at the Devaragattu region. Keeping the traditions alive, the Kalyanotsavam fete is held on Dussehra night when the idols are taken out in a procession atop the Aswa Vahanam by thousands of devotees from Neraniki, Neraniki Thanda, and Kothapeta villages.

Meanwhile, the rival group of devotees from Aluru, Sullivan, Yellarthi, Arizona, and Netravati villages join hands to attack the processional deities, to divert the procession to their own villages, which according to them is considered auspicious. During the fight, the two groups fight with sticks.

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