August 31, 2021 1:23:47 pm
Several MNS activists, including former MLA Bala Nandgaonkar, were detained in Mumbai for defying the ban on Dahi Handi celebrations.
On August 23, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had said that the government will not grant permission for Dahi Handi celebrations across the state. He had requested all organisers to prioritise the health of the people amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The BJP and the MNS had criticised the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government for imposing a ban on Dahi Handi celebrations in the state and had said that they would defy the orders.
Dahi Handi festival is celebrated to mark the birth of Lord Krishna. On this occasion, young boys and girls form a human pyramid to break an earthen pot filled with dahi hanging at a certain height.
Nandgaonkar reached Kalachowkie Maidan where he participated in the breaking of the Dahi Handi and was subsequently arrested by the Mumbai Police. The MNS held similar celebrations in Dadar, Mankhurd, Mulund, Worli Naka and Malabar Hill. The activists were later detained.
“The state is allowing political rallies to take place but is putting a ban on Hindu festivals. I want to question them as to why are these guidelines being imposed only on festivities. Does the Covid virus take a break when political rallies occur,” MNS chief Raj Thackeray said.
The Mumbai and Thane police have served notices to many Dahi Handi mandals asking them not to organise the event on Tuesday as it may lead to the spread of Covid-19.
Thane Police commissioner Jai Jeet Singh said, “About 200 mandals have been issued notices. We appeal to all not to break any government rule. Otherwise, we will be constrained to take legal action.”
The notices have been served under Section 149 (police to prevent cognizable offences) of CrPC.
A Mumbai Police officer from northern suburbs said, “So far, we have served notices to 47 Dahi Handi mandals.”
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