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Wednesday, September 22, 2021

50 people, mostly MNS activists, booked for violating Dahi Handi curbs

On August 23, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had said that the government will not grant permission for Dahi Handi celebrations in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. The BJP and MNS had criticised the MVA government for the curbs.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: September 1, 2021 7:47:46 am
Mumbai, CovidThe Maha Vikas Aghadi government has disallowed Dahi Handi celebrations this year citing the pandemic. (Express File Photo by Nirmal Harindran)

Mumbai Police on Tuesday registered eight FIRs against over 50 people, mostly activists of the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), for violating police orders and pandemic guidelines by erecting human pyramids for the Dahi Handi festival.

On August 23, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had said that the government will not grant permission for Dahi Handi celebrations in view of the Covid-19 pandemic. The BJP and MNS had criticised the MVA government for the curbs and said they would defy the orders.

On Tuesday, FIRs were filed in eight police stations including Worli, Kasturba Min Borivali (east), Ghatkopar, Shivaji Park, Kalachowki, Sakinaka, Bhandup and Kherwadi in Bandra (east).

The accused in all the FIRs, except that filed in Kasturba Marg police station, are MNS workers. At Shivaji Park, MNS leader Sandeep Deshpande was booked, said Satish Kasbe, senior inspector of Shivaji park police station.

MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar and 20 other party workers were arrested by Kalachowkie police for allegedly gathering and celebrating Dahi Handi in the central suburbs.

In Ghatkopar, 20 MNS workers were booked and 10 arrested for allegedly celebrating Dahi Handi in Bhatwadi. Senior police inspector Jitendra Aagarkar of Ghatkopar police station said, “People had gathered and were about to break the handi when we reached and took 10 of them in custody.”

They were released on bail in the afternoon, said police.

The FIRs were registered under sections 188, 269, 270 of IPC and Disaster Management Act and Epidemic Diseases Act.

“The state is allowing political rallies but banning Hindu festivals. I want to ask why these guidelines are being imposed only on festivities. Does the Covid virus take a break when political rallies occur?” MNS chief Raj Thackeray said at a press conference on Tuesday.

The Mumbai and Thane police had served notices to many Dahi Handi mandals asking them not to erect human pyramids on Tuesday as it may lead to spread of Covid-19.

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