Nagpur: Attempts to cash in on the feverish pitch of kit flying in Sankranti festival boomeranged on a few vendors as Crime Branch of Nagpur swooped and seized banned nylon manja (strings) and other material worth thousands from them. The offending vendors have been booked under sections of Environment (Protection) Act 1986 and face severe action. The Maharashtra Government, following directives of High Court, has banned the sale and use of nylon ‘manja’ which injures and kills birds as well as people.
Acting on tip-offs, sleuths of Crime Branch raided many places and caught some vendors red-handed while selling the banned nylon ‘manja’ and other stuff. In the first raid in Old Shukrawari and Somwaripeth Quarters coming under Kotwali and Sakkardara jurisdictions respectively, the cops apprehended three accused vendors namely Mahesh Arjun Shahu (39), Rajesh Pachurilal Banode (43), both residents of Juni Shukrawari and Prashant Barsuji Tupkar (40) of Somwaripeth Quarters and seized the banned nylon ‘manja’ and ‘chakris’ worth Rs 13,700 from their possession.
In other raids, the Crime Branch seized the prohibited nylon ‘manja’ and ‘chakris’ from the vendors at Old Shukrawari, near Mahatma Gandhi School in Jaripatka and Jaffer Nagar in Gittikhadan area. The worth of seized banned stuff is Rs 13,860.
The accused vendors have been booked under Sections 5, 15 of Environment (Protection) Act 1986 and could face a 5-year jail term or a fine of Rs 1 lakh or both.
The raids were carried out by Police Inspectors Anil Katkade, Chandrashekhar Dhole, Dnyaneshwar Patil, Ravindra Patil, Ramkrishna Mahalle, Ajay Sankeshwari, APIs Prashant Chaugule, Pramod Sanap, Gokul Suryavanshi, Sachin Lule, PSIs Rajput Singh, Ashok Hirudkar, and other policemen under the directives and guidance of Commissioner of Police S P Yadav, Joint Commissioner of Police Rajwardhan, Acting Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime Branch) Ranjankumar Sharma, ACPs Nilesh Raut, P A Bhagat.
The use of nylon ‘manja’ often results in flash over on power lines and substations, causing power interruptions to consumers, straining and damaging electrical assets and causing accidents, injuries and loss of life as well as damage to environment and therefore, such threads are not to be used for kite-flying.
The District Administration has appealed the citizens as well as vendors and traders not to use or sell the banned nylon ‘manja’ for kite flying. If anybody is found using or selling the banned stuff, he or she will be booked under Environment (Protection) Act 1986 and could face 5-year rigorous imprisonment or a fine of Rs 1 lakh or both.