PUNE: After the death of Sakal employee Suvarna Mujumdar (46) due to injuries caused by nylon string (manja) used for kite flying, Pune city police have launched a massive crackdown on sale and use of the manjha, which has been banned by the National Green Tribunal (NGT).
However, in the absence of any concrete law for taking action against those violating the ban, cops are relying on section 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). This section prescribes punishment from one month to six months imprisonment and fine from Rs 200 to Rs 1,000.
Crime Branch’s Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Sameer Shaikh, who is also the spokesperson for Pune police, told Sakal Times, “On the directions of Commissioner of Police Rashmi Shukla, seven units of the Crime Branch and all the 39 police stations have been instructed to take action against those selling or using the nylon manjha. In the last two days, several raids have been conducted at shops and cases have been filed for offence under section 188 of the IPC against the shopkeepers.”
On Monday, Warje Malwadi police station nabbed Narayan Ganesh Ramji Kumawat (28) of Radhe Mohan Varieties shop in Lane No. 11 of Shahu Colony for allegedly selling nylon manjha. An FIR has been registered against him and cops have seized six rolls of manjha worth Rs 100 from his possession. On Sunday, Kothrud police had booked Renuka Ramesh Salunke (58) of Shri Swami Om Stationery and General Stores, Gujarat Colony, and Rupesh Manikrao Shirbhate (44) of Gauri Seasonal shop, Gujarat Colony. Cops had recovered manjha worth Rs 350 from the two shops.
On July 11, 2017, NGT had put a complete ban on the manjha or thread for kite flying, which is made of nylon or any synthetic material and/or is coated with synthetic substance and is non-biodegradable.
“The state governments/union territories/chief secretaries/ district collectors are directed to take action against the defaulters under the provision of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986; Prevention of Cruelty of Animal Act, 1960; Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the Indian Penal Code or any other provision of law,” the NGT order states.