Chaos rules at the Mainpat Festival.

Chaos rules at the Mainpat Festival.

The Mainpat Festival fell into complete chaos for the first time. On the first day of the event, the crowd became unruly after Khesari Lal Yadav, a Bhojpuri singer, came on stage. The police started lathi-charge to control the people, but it caused a stampede at the venue. A large number of people were injured. This incident has exposed the government claims made regarding the arrangement of Mainpat Festival. All the artists fled after the incident, while the officials disappeared from the scene. The audience at the venue got angry and became violent, tearing down the banner-posters. The Chief Minister of the state Bhupesh Baghel also attended the festival as a guest, and he also announced gifts for the area.

Large scale preparations and enthusiastic publicity resulted in more than average visitors. But things became much worse during the celebrity performance, and the police had to close the door leading to the pandal. Late in the evening when Bhojpuri artist Khesari Lal reached the stage, the crowd became uncontrollable. The policemen were patient at first, but some of the spectators started a fight. As the dispute escalated, the police started lathi-charge, this led to a stampede. Lathicharge also sparked outrage amongst the audience, and they broke the banners, posters, and the chairs placed at the venue.

The Bhojpuri artist Khesari Lal was performing on stage during the lathi-charge. He repeatedly appealed to the police not to beat the public, but the police continued the baton charge, after which Khesari Lal also left the stage.

Another reason for this incident was alcohol. The district administration had issued an order that drunk drivers will be punished, yet bars were operating with impunity in the open. The district administration removed the illegal bar after the incident. But the question remains how during such a large event, these bars were running flagrantly.

The organizers were supposed to have an ambulance at the venue, in the event of an accident. But after the lathi charge, there was no ambulance to take the injured to the hospital. Given the situation, people were justifiably angry and expressed their displeasure over the chaos. They also shouted slogans about the incident and the district administration.