Editorial: Manja menace in Mumbai

Editorial: Manja menace in Mumbai

FPJ EditorialUpdated: Tuesday, January 16, 2024, 07:21 PM IST
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File Photo | ANI

In the joyful tapestry of festivals, Makar Sankranti unfolds as a paradoxical spectacle, where the pursuit of happiness collides with the tragic fate of our feathered friends. Amidst the three-day revelry, Mumbai turned into a perilous battleground for our avian counterparts, as over 1000 birds met an untimely demise, and 800 more found themselves grounded in the chaos. The culprit in this avian tragedy is none other than the notorious manja — a thread with a sinister edge, laced with glass splinters and chemical concoctions. Crafted for the cutthroat world of kite-flying rivalries, this thread becomes a lethal weapon, slicing through the sky and inadvertently claiming the lives of unsuspecting birds.

What adds a twist to this tale is the influx of Chinese nylon manja, sharper and more sought after than its indigenous counterpart. The demand for this forbidden thread speaks volumes, even though its sale is officially banned. The irony lies in the minuteness of the thread; birds, oblivious to its presence, collide with it, facing a fatal fate or a life grounded in perpetuity. As NGOs and conscientious citizens rallied against this avian menace, the authorities responded by arresting 57 individuals involved in selling the deadly string. The police, registering 92 cases and seizing nylon thread worth Rs 1.43 lakh, stand as a thin line of defence against this aerial threat.

It’s not just the birds who bear the brunt. A motorcyclist found his throat slit by a manja, fighting for his life, while a police constable succumbed to a similar fate. It's time for the government to clip the wings of this lethal import. Section 188 of the IPC, currently, might need a sharper edge itself. A more stringent legal stance is imperative to truly rein in the manja menace.

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