Many devotees participating in the Karimariyamma festival at Tamil Colony in Chikkamagaluru town on Friday, exhibited their devotion by pulling vehicles with hooks pierced into their backs. While a few performed hook-swinging, many had their cheeks pierced.
Residents of the colony observe this festival annually and invite others for the event. As part of the rituals, a procession was taken out in the city. Devotees pulled two tractors and two autorickshaws with the help of hooks.
Anand, a resident of the colony, told presspersons that this time more than 30 people performed rituals that involve piercing. “Earlier, there were only a handful of people performing such rituals, However, this year the number has increased. Many people from different places have participated,” he said. The devotees voluntarily took part in the rituals as they consider them to be ways to fulfil their vows to the deity, he added.
The Karnataka Prevention and Eradication of Inhuman Evil Practices and Black Magic Act, 2017, passed by the State government prohibits acts involving self-inflicting injuries. However, there was no opposition to the rituals.