Protest at United Way of Baroda Garba ground; stone thrown at Atul Purohit; Police intervene

Vadodara: Police had to intervene after thousands of Khelaiyas present at Garba ground of United Way of Baroda Navratri 2022 complained in mass about presence of lot of stones on the surface of the garba ground which was hurting them while playing garba.

The Khelaiyas had even on the first night of Navratri complained about the presence of stones on the ground. They had chanted slogans … ‘Patthar … Paththar’. They believe that the issue will be sorted out by the second night of Navratri by organizers. However even on the second night, they found there was the same presence of stones on the ground.

Garba lovers in Vadodara play garba barefooted and therefore complete cleaning of Garba ground becomes very important for them. However this year, for the first time, the organizers have failed to address this issue on the first and second night of Navratri. The Garba lovers who have purchased very costly season passes demanded a refund as they complained their two nights out of nine were wasted due to stones on the ground.

Singer Atul Purohit who performs every year on this Garba ground with his musical group, stood up with mic in his hand and said that it was for the first time that the garba lovers threw a stone targeting him and it hit his forehead. Purohit, addressing the youths said that if the ground is not cleaned properly, he would not start singing on the third night of Navratri.

As thousands of youths continued to protest the presence of stones on the ground, Manjalpur Police intervened and asked Khelaiyas to drop their protest. However the crowd didn’t budge and continued to demand a refund. The youths told Police men that they had complained about the issue even on the first night of Navratri but there was no solution. They said they now want only a refund. Citing trouble, the organizers made an announcement that for a refund issue, the ticket window outside the venue can be approached tomorrow during day-time. The Police called one representative from youths on the stage and gave him hearing. Police also asked all those affected to approach Manjalpur police with formal complaints over the issue. The Police also told protesting youths that the issue was already before the consumer forum also.

Meanwhile, a lot of Khelaiyas chose to shift to Heritage garba ground at Lakshmi Vilas palace compound due to an uncleaned ground issue at United Way of Baroda venue. However at the same time, thousands of youths continued to throng at United Way of Baroda garba ground and didn’t complain about any issue.