Throwing water balloons from your housing society in Thane could get you and the office bearers of your society arrested. The Thane police have started sending notices to societies in the run-up to Holi, asking them to warn residents to refrain from the practice or risk being booked.
The notices have asked society office bearers to call together a meeting to inform them not to throw water balloons from the premises, onto the streets. If people are found doing so, its chairman and secretary are also likely to be booked, along with the culprit in question. Police said throwing water balloons is a common practice by mischief-mongers on Holi.
Children usually throw water balloons or spray water on people walking or driving on the road. “Due to the speed at which the balloon is thrown from the terrace, bikers get serious injuries due to the fall,” said a police officer. Police have also instructed societies to lock the terraces.
“We have started sending notices to societies,” confirmed V V Laxminarayan, joint commissioner of police, Thane police. Cops will act against society officer bearers under Sections 336 (act endangering life or personal safety of others), 337 (causing hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) and 338 (causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others) of Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Mumbai police, too, are mulling action on similar lines and have had several meetings with office bearers of residential societies to make them aware of the consequences of throwing balloons. Local police stations have also been asked to convene meetings regarding the same issue.
“We have started organising meetings of societies and informing them about the precautions to take on Holi,” said Dattatray Bargude, senior police inspector, Khar police station. Police have also started conducting raids on colour vendors to check if they are selling colours which can have toxic effects or cause colour poisoning.
“We are making sure that no shops are selling waters balloons that can damage people and are also acting against colour sellers with the help of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA),” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, deputy commissioner of police, Mumbai. The police have cancelled all leaves of policemen from Holi (today) to Dhulivandan (tomorrow).
Communally sensitive areas will be strengthened with additional police force, so that throwing of colours by mischief-makers on other communities doesn’t result in communal tension. “We will also keep more policemen near beaches,” added Kulkarni. Government Railway Police (GRP) has also started creating awareness among slum dwellers near railway tracks.
“Last year, there wasn’t a single incident of throwing of water balloons on people in running trains. This year, too, we will make sure such incidents don’t take place. We are deploying police constables on railway tracks in Dharavi, Kanjurmarg, on the Harbour line and parts of Western Line,” said Dr Ravindra Singhal, GRP commissioner.