Kite flyers in Chennai using 'manja' may be detained under Goondas Act, no bail for a year
The Chennai City Police Commissioner A K Viswanathan has issued an internal circular to detain the offenders under the Goondas Act and pointed out that the time for warnings and showing mercy is over
CHENNAI: Kite flyers in the city using the banned 'manja' thread may be detained under the Goondas Act, which means they will not get bail for a year. This comes in the wake of the increasing trend of kite flying during the lockdown. At least 13 people in Chennai have been injured by the thread since the lockdown began.
While several teenagers and youngsters have been nabbed for flying kites and making 'manja' thread, they are usually let off with a warning and only very few were arrested.
On Tuesday, a four-year-old girl suffered an injury in the neck from a manja thread in MKB Nagar and is undergoing treatment. Similarly, on Monday, a 35-year-old suffered a cut near her nose.
In light of these incidents, the Chennai City Police Commissioner A K Viswanathan has issued an internal circular to detain the offenders under the Goondas Act and pointed out that the time for warnings and showing mercy is over.
"In spite of several warnings, people do not seem to listen. Every day, the patrol police on seeing the kites follow them to the locality and as soon as seeing the police, the flyers cut off the 'manja' thread which is even more dangerous as they fly aimlessly cutting anyone in the way. When the police teams enquire in the locality who were flying the kites, people are very protective of the offenders and do not reveal their names," said a senior police officer.
In July 2017, National Green Tribunal (NGT) banned the use of 'Chinese' kite strings, made of nylon or any synthetic material, which is non-biodegradable. They directed all the state governments to prohibit the "manufacture, sale, storage, purchase and use" of synthetic manja or nylon threads and all other synthetic strings used for flying kites with immediate effect. The Chennai city police had also banned flying kites using manja and have made awareness videos on the issue.
A senior police officer claims that when they conduct raids and seize manja threads, they normally do not book the suspects as most of them turn out to be juveniles.