Mumbai Crime: Five sell banned Chinese manja, arrested
On the instructions of Palghar SP Gaurav Singh, every police station in the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC) jurisdiction raided kite-selling shops and the five were caught
In a crackdown on illegal Chinese manja, the Palghar police booked and arrested five people in Virar and Nalasopara on Tuesday night.
The Virar police apprehended Ramkishor Shitlaprasad Sahu, 45, Bharat Kishor Patni, 26, and Prahalad Prajapati, 45, while the Nalasopara police caught Ramesh Parjapati, 24, and Jigar Gala, 32, for selling the banned Chinese manja for the Makar Sankrant festival on Wednesday.
Chinese manja, made of glass coated nylon and other synthetic threads, can cause grievous injuries to humans, animals and birds. "Even humans are affected by Chinese manja and some have died due to injuries from it in various cities in India in recent years," said a police officer from Palghar police.
On the instructions of Palghar SP Gaurav Singh, every police station in the Vasai-Virar Municipal Corporation (VVMC) jurisdiction raided kite-selling shops and the five were caught.
"We have seized banned manja worth around R5,000 during the raid on three shops in Virar and banned manja worth around Rs 1,000 from Nalasopara shops," said a police officer. "All the accused were booked and arrested under section 290 (Punishment for public nuisance) and 336 (Act endangering life or personal safety of others)," said PRO Hemant Katkar from Palghar district police.
Camp for birds
A Bird Medical Camp was held by Karuna Trust, Virar on January 14 and 15 for Makar Sankrant. The Trust has been holding the camp to help birds injured by manja during the festival, for the past 15 years. "Due to the custom of flying kites on this day, many birds are badly injured by the sharp manja. This year we have rescued and treated 23 birds including pigeons and mynahs. There also were squirrels. While six pigeons died, three were treated and released. Other birds were sent to the Peace for Birds and Animals Centre at Goregaon for further treatment," said Mitesh Jain, the Honorary District Animal Welfare officer, Animal Welfare Board of India. Jain said because of increased awareness, social media posts and articles on injuries caused to birds by manja, number of kite flyers has reduced, but despite appeals against use of China made manja or thread, it is still being sold. "The festival of Makar Sankrant can also be celebrated by eating and distributing sweets, til laddoos etc. Festivals should spread joy and happiness, not hurt someone," he added.
Lensman escapes injury
A freelancer photographer, Hanif Patel, was lucky to survive when China made manja got entangled in his bike's handle at Virar west on Tuesday. Patel said the manja was hanging from a tree when it got caught in his bike. He stopped and removed it. "It was quite dangerous as the manja could have got entangled around my neck, and injured me badly. I immediately shot the scene and put it on my YouTube channel. The Palghar police saw it and held the raids," Patel said.
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