Mumbai: Crackdown On Dangerous Manja Continues After Constable's Fatal Incident

Mumbai: Crackdown On Dangerous Manja Continues After Constable's Fatal Incident

The Kherwadi police promptly arrived and took Jadhav to Sion Hospital, where he was declared dead. He is survived by his wife and a young daughter.

Megha KuchikUpdated: Tuesday, January 09, 2024, 11:15 AM IST
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Chinese manja |

Mumbai: Last December a 37-year-old constable was killed when a kite-flying string – ‘manja’ – slit his throat. Sameer Jadhav, who was stationed at Dindoshi station, was returning home to Worli on his motorcycle when the glass-coated manja slashed his throat on Vakola Bridge, Santacruz (East), causing him to fall.

The Kherwadi police promptly arrived and took Jadhav to Sion Hospital, where he was declared dead. He is survived by his wife and a young daughter.

Crackdown on manja sales

Following the incident, the police cracked down on manja sales. There are three types of manjas: Nylon, glass-coated and Chinese. The police arrested two brothers caught flying kites with nylon string and also arrested the shopkeeper who sold the string to them. So far at least five police stations in the city have filed cases against individuals caught selling, stocking, or using dangerous manja.

The manja problem has been around for many years. In 2017 the National Green Authority had banned the production, use, sale and import of nylon manjas.

In 2021, the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court took suo moto cognisance of news reports regarding the death of two people due to manja, and initiated suo motu PIL to pass relevant directions to the Nagpur Municipal Corporation and the state government

Manja smuggled from Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh

During a hearing in the case last week, the police and the administration said manjas were banned in Maharashtra; they were smuggled into the state from Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, they said. Justices Nitin Sambare and Abhay Mantri directed the chief secretary to address the issue by contacting the states concerned.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Archit Chandak told the court that manjas are also sold online. Notices have been issued to 19 e-commerce companies, including prominent ones, under the Information Technology Act and the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, to ban online sales, he said. The Crime Branch confirmed the ban, urging people not to use nylon manjas.

“For 20 years, we have been conducting medical bird camps in Mumbai,”said Mitesh Jain, a representative of the Animal Welfare Board of India (Government of India), and trustee of Karuna Trust Virar. “Every year on January 14 and 15 (Makar Sankranti), we organise more than 30 camps across the city. We rescue birds injured by manja. Initially we would see 500 to 600 bird injuries a day, but those numbers are decreasing. However, 50 to 100 birds still get injured per day due to manja. Most of these incidents occur in Dahisar, Borivali, Malad and Kandivali. While a ban is essential, compliance is lacking,” he said.

Although glass-coated, nylon and Chinese manjas are banned, there is limited awareness of these prohibitions, he said.

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