Following the Supreme Court’s directions that only crackers with reduced emission and ‘green crackers’ be manufactured and sold in the capital, Delhi Police have arrested a Ghazipur-based resident for bursting firecrackers — after his neighbour tipped off police.
However, police and officials of the forensic science laboratory are still mulling how to check whether crackers burst by the accused were ‘green’ or not. “The accused, Damandeep, was bursting crackers outside his house when his neighbours made a call to Ghazipur police station. We sent an officer who seized the firecrackers. The accused was violating SC orders and bursting a year old crackers. The residue will be sent to FSL for examination,” said DCP (East) Pankaj Singh.
Complainant Deen Bandhu told police that Damadeep’s children were bursting crackers outside his house, and later their father joined them. A case under IPC section 188 was registered at Ghazipur police station.
FSL officials told The Indian Express this will be the first case of them having to examine firecrackers, and there is “no set standard to ascertain whether a cracker is ‘green’, as there is lack of clarity on the definition, and composition of permitted chemicals”.
“If Delhi Police gives us evidence, it will be sent to the chemistry division, which will study the residue. But before that, we will have to set a standard on what constitutes a ‘green cracker’ and the chemicals present in it,” said an FSL official.
The FSL currently examines explosives at its chemistry division, and an explosives unit will be constituted in the coming months with a dedicated explosives examination team, the official said.
In the judgment delivered by a bench headed by Justice AK Sikri, the apex court had said, “There have been many efforts for production of firecrackers that do not contain harmful chemicals, which are termed ‘green crackers’, and the Union of India was asked to delve on the subject.”
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) was also asked to come with concrete suggestions and short-term measures that can be adopted to tackle pollution which arises due to firecrackers.
The MoEFCC, in its affidavit filed on August 21, had proposed use of reduced emission firecrackers as well as ‘green crackers’. The MoEFCC also proposed that the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation ensure that only fireworks with permitted chemicals are sold, and check for the presence of banned chemicals such as lithium, arsenic, antimony, lead and mercury”. The Ministry also suggested banning “barium salts in fireworks”.
Meanwhile, police in east Delhi arrested a man for selling firecrackers despite the SC ban.
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