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Delhi Police Book More Cases Under Environmental Law for Selling Banned Manja

Ahead of Independence Day Authorities Confiscate Banned Kite Flying Threads From East Delhi Shops Following PETA Action

After receiving a complaint from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India, and following successful raids in Sadar Bazar and Bara Hindu Rao Kite market last week, the Delhi police conducted more raids and seized hundreds of kilograms of Manja (sharp kite-flying string often made of cotton thread laced with glass, metal, or other sharp materials) from various shops in Madhu Vihar Market in East Delhi. The Delhi police registered offences against sellers under Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act (EPA), 1986, for violation of the 10 January 2017 Gazette notification of the Delhi government banning the sale, production, storage, supply, importation, and use of all forms of Manja. The ban exists in order to prevent harm to humans, birds, and other animals as well as the environment. The notification permits flying kites only with a cotton thread free of any materials designed to increase its sharpness or strength.

Selling Manja is punishable under Section 15 of the EPA, 1986, including by up to five years' imprisonment, a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh, or both, and the Delhi government's notification authorises officers of the rank of sub-inspector and above to take action against sellers and buyers of the banned string.

"Most people would choose plain cotton kite strings if they knew that doing so could spare fellow humans, birds, and other animals serious injuries and death," says PETA Associate Director of Policy Nikunj Sharma. "The Delhi police are setting a great example by protecting residents, including animals, from dangerous Manja." 

After receiving complaints from PETA India, the Delhi police seized about 100 kilograms of Manja from various shops in Sadar Bazar and Bara Hindu Rao area last week and from Lal Kuan kite market near Chandni Chowk and Chand Mohalla in Gandhi Nagar last year.

Thousands of birds are killed every year when they're cut or trapped by Manja, which can get caught on trees or buildings for weeks. In February 2019, a motorcyclist died in the Timarpur area after his neck had been slashed by sharp Manja. In July 2019, a 3-year-old girl died after a stray piece of Manja had cut the neck of her uncle, causing the motorcycle they were riding to crash.


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