Mumbai: Thousands of complaints but just 86 cases on crackers being burst at odd hours

Nov 10, 2018, 07:44 IST | Suraj Ojha and Faizan Khan

While the Mumbai police get a plethora of calls about Apex Court's firecracker deadline being violated, they manage to book very few people across Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai

Mumbai: Thousands of complaints but just 86 cases on crackers being burst at odd hours
Crackers being burst at Walkeshwar past the deadline last night. Pic/Bipin Kokate

Phones at the Mumbai Police control room have been ringing off the hook this festive season, with personnel receiving 8,000-odd complaint calls on crackers being burst at any odd hour, in violation of the Supreme Court order of 8 pm to 10 pm only. Yet the police have managed to book only a handful of people for this.

As per information available with mid-day, till Friday 7 pm, cops had booked 55 people in 48 cases - six FIRs with 13 accused and 42 LACs (Local Act Cases, under which there is no charge sheet or a trial; the person booked is fined and later sent a notice to be present in court for a day) against 42 people across the city under IPC sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant) and 34 (common intention), and relevant sections of the Bombay Police Act. Of the booked, 52 have been fined Rs 5,000 each, while a hunt is on for the remaining two who haven't been nabbed yet. Till the time of going to press, the Mumbai Police hadn't released the official numbers.

As per the SC order, firecrackers during Diwali can be burst only between 8 pm and 10 pm. Pic/Suresh Karkera
As per the SC order, firecrackers during Diwali can be burst only between 8 pm and 10 pm. Pic/Suresh Karkera

Non-stop calls
On an average, the Mumbai Police control room receives 60,000-odd calls daily for complaints about crime, traffic, road accidents, fires, etc. But this Diwali season has seen the highest number of complaint calls about irregular bursting of firecrackers, in violation of the SC order.

"Over the last three days, we have received an additional 8,000 calls owing to the festive season. Whatever information we receive on control room or on Twitter, we forward it to the police station concerned for further action," said Manjunath Shinge, Mumbai Police spokesperson.

Mumbai Records High Noise Level On Diwali, 7 Arrested For Flouting SC Directive On Firecrackers

In Navi Mumbai
The Navi Mumbai commissionerate booked 17 people in 17 cases for violating the SC order, besides taking down 34 NCs. As per data available with mid-day, till Friday 7 pm, the Rabale police station had registered four cases, Nerul police station three cases for the violation and three cases for sale of crackers sans licence, NRI and APMC police stations had registered two cases each, and Vashi, Kopar and Panvel police stations had one case each.

A sub-inspector attached to the control room said, "We got more than 70 calls, but because of limited manpower, we couldn't send our personnel to attend to all complaints. We have suggested citizens to shoot videos of the violation whenever they spot it and send the same to us."

DCP (zone II) Navi Mumbai Ashok Dudhe said, "We have registered three FIRs in Panvel police station against shopkeepers who kept their stores selling firecrackers open after 10 pm and even themselves burst crackers there. We filed cases and brought them to the police station after some residents complained."

In Thane
As many as 21 people were booked in 21 cases in Thane Police commissionerate. Officers said eight cases are registered at Manpada police station, six at Vishnunagar police station, five at Vartak Nagar police station and one each at Chitalsar and Kapurbawdi police stations. Thane Police PRO Sukhada Markar said, "All cases registered are against shopkeepers for selling crackers to people after 10 pm."
With inputs by Anamika Gharat

The break-up
The six FIRs have been registered at RAK Marg (four), Trombay (one) and Sakinaka police stations (one). RAK Marg cops have booked eight people, the Sakinaka police three, and the Trombay cops have booked two unidentified accused. The police stations that have registered LACs are Matunga (eight), Marine Drive (seven), Antop Hill (six), Kalachowkie (five), Bhoiwada, Worli and Wadala (four each), Sion (two), and RAK Marg and Samta Nagar (one each) - 42 against as many people. A fine of R5,000 has been collected from all barring the two unidentified accused.

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