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Ujjain: Houses of 3 selling banned kite string razed day after woman’s death

Although links between the three owners of the demolished houses and the death were not immediately clear, the district authorities said Sunday's demolition was a move to stop sale of the banned kite string.

Written by Iram Siddique | Bhopal |
Updated: January 18, 2022 8:00:47 am
Demolition was carried out allegedly at short notice on Sunday.

Ujjain district administration has demolished three “illegal” houses, days after police booked their owners for selling banned Chinese kite string. The demolition was carried out at short notice on Sunday, a day after Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan took note of the death of a 20-year-old woman and ordered strict action against those selling the “deadly kite string”.

Although links between the three owners of the demolished houses and the death were not immediately clear, the district authorities said Sunday’s demolition was a move to stop sale of the banned kite string.

“We had circulated Section 144 orders prohibiting the sale of Chinese kite string but it could not stop the sale. Thereafter, going by the quantity seized and the fact that two out of three had previous history, we decided to take stringent action and their houses were demolished as a coercive action to stop sale of the banned kite string,” Ujjain Collector Ashish Singh told The Indian Express.

The immediate trigger appeared to be the death of Neha Aanjna, a college student, on Saturday.

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Neha was riding a two-wheeler, with her sister sitting pillion, over a flyover when a stray kite string got entangled around her neck. She fell off the two-wheeler, bleeding profusely, said an eyewitness.

“We tried to free her neck but the string was badly entangled. With the help of a few passers-by, we put Neha in my car and took her to the nearest hospital. But she could not be saved,” said Devend Sengar, an advocate based in Ujjain.

According to Neha’s uncle Mahesh Aanjna, she aspired to become an IPS officer. From a village in Ujjain’s Mahidpur tehsil, she was living with her aunt for higher studies. “As the colleges were shut, she was preparing to return home and was heading to Free Ganj area to get some medicines… before she could leave for her village. Instead, we had to send her remains back home,” he said.

The same day Chief Minister Chouhan tweeted, “News of the death of 20-year-old Neha Aanjna in Madhavnagar police station of Ujjain owing to a kite string getting entangled around her neck is distressing. I pray to god to her parents the strength to cope with it.” Chouhan then ordered the district administration to take action against all those selling this kite string.

A day later, the houses of Abdul Jabbar, Vijay Bhavsare and Ritik Jadhav were demolished, allegedly within hours of receiving “backdated” notices. While Jabbar was booked under Section 188 on January 3, Bhavsare and Jadhav were booked under the same provision on January 12 and 13 for selling the banned kite string. A total of six people were booked under the same charge.

While Jabbar lived in his Top Khana locality house, Bhavsare and Jadhav lived in Ujjain’s Shashtri Nagar and Indore Gate localities, respectively.

Jabbar’s son Mohammad Zubair said a notice was handed over, saying their house was illegally constructed and to stop further action they have to furnish relevant papers at the concerned office.

“My illiterate mother was handed the notice, which was backdated to January 12. She was asked to just sign it. Within an hour of handing the notice, more than three vans of police along with JCB machines arrived and began demolishing our house. When we objected, they asked us to sit quietly or we would be booked under NSA,” alleged Zubair, who worked as a puncture repairer and sold kites and kite string during the three months around Makar Sankranti.

Their small shop – ‘Chul Bul Patang Store’ – on the ground floor of their house was run by Jabbar.

Jabbar was booked under IPC Section 188 after he was found in possession of banned kite string.

“When my father was detained, I told the police that we had bought the kite string from a wholesaler called Narendra Jain but the police after bringing him in for 15 minutes, let him go without any action,” Zubair alleged.

He said after the police seized the kite strings on January 3, they had been selling only kites.

City Superintendent of Police Pallavi Shukla, who oversaw the demolition of Jabbar’s house, said the houses were razed as they were found to be illegal by the district administration.

Despite repeated attempts, Ujjain Municipal Commissioner did not respond to calls and messages.

When asked why the wholesaler, who had sold the string to Zubair and others, was not booked, Shukla said, “A search was conducted by the concerned police in-charge but nothing was found during the search.”

Meanwhile, Congress MLA Arif Masood in a letter to state Home Minister Narottam Mishra has demanded the arrest of main supplier of the kite string Virendra Jain. “Several evidences of kite string being purchased by main supplier Virendra Jain were given even then the administration failed to take action against him,” he wrote.

Neha’s uncle Mahesh, however, said, “The government advises against the use of Chinese product and says it is banned then how is it that such products are being sold right under the nose of the police and district administration.

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