THE COMMISSIONERATE of Mumbai Police recently issued an order to senior inspectors at police stations across the city to raise awareness on the ban of sale, use and storage of nylon thread, commonly known as pucca manja, used for flying kites. They have been asked to monitor people staying in their jurisdictions during Makar Sankranti, which will be observed on Thursday.
The Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court recently took up a suo motu PIL on the issue of nylon manja (kite string) after recent incidents, in which people were injured, and in one case a woman died after her throat was slit by a nylon manja used as a kite string.
The order was released in the light of multiple life-threatening incidents that have taken place over the past years, owing to which the state government banned the sale and use of nylon threads under Section 5 of the Environmental Protection Act.
In January 2017, the state environment department issued a directive banning the manja on receiving an appeal from animal rights group PETA in 2015. The Animal Welfare Board of India urged the states and Union territories to ban the manja.
An officer said senior inspectors had been instructed to bring this to the knowledge of the people by sticking leaflets at beat chowkies and different areas, which have a high footfall.
“Regular announcements will also be made using megaphones,” said a police officer. The Mumbai Police has also been ordered to keep an eye on vendors and kite lovers using or selling such nylon threads.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Operations) Chaitanya S issued an order on January 7, stating that the use, sale and storage of Chinese string is banned between January 14 and February 12.
The DCP, in his order, further stated that any person contravening this order shall be punishable under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code.
An officer further said, “If a person gets injured due to this, then action will be taken under other sections of the IPC.”
Another order was issued to take preventive measures as a large number of women step out for haldi-kumkum ceremonies on Makar Sankranti. “All police stations have also been instructed to ensure that chain snatching and thefts do not happen during that time,” added an officer.