Delhi Police and PETA India Seize Banned Manja Ahead of Independence Day

Posted on by Erika Goyal

Following complaints from PETA India that dangerous and illegal manja was being sold at Delhi markets, PETA India worked with Delhi police to conduct a raid at the Jafrabad market in North East Delhi. During the raid, several hundred kilograms of illegal manja, including 55 spools, were seized and complaints were filed against the offenders under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The 10 January 2017 Gazette notification of the Delhi government prohibits the production, storage, supply, importation, sale, 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 cotton thread that is free from any materials designed to increase its sharpness or strength.


Last year, PETA India worked with Delhi police to conduct a raid at Lal Kuan market, during which over 50 spools of illegal manja were also confiscated. In August 2021, after receiving complaints from PETA India, Delhi police seized a sizeable number of manja spools from the South Delhi district, and in 2020, it seized hundreds of spools of manja from various shops in Chand Mohalla. In 2019, similar raids were conducted in Sadar Bazar and Bara Hindu Rao in North Delhi and Madhu Vihar in East Delhi.

Manja, in all its forms, puts humans, birds, other animals, and the environment at risk. Razor-sharp strings, either made of nylon or cotton thread coated with abrasive materials like finely crushed glass or metal, injure humans and cause many senseless deaths every year. Often passers-by, including children, travelling on open vehicles such as bicycles, motorcycles, and scooters fall prey to these deadly threads. Just a few weeks ago, a 7-year-old girl in Delhi died after being slashed by manja while seated on a bike with her parents. And earlier this year, an official of the Delhi Integrated Multi-Modal Transit System Ltd sustained significant injuries after a kite string got tangled around her neck.

The harmful thread also has a disastrous impact on bird populations. Birds’ wings or feet are often slashed or even cut off by manja, and birds frequently leave the site where they were injured, meaning rescuers are unable to help them. Various NGOs have reported that thousands of pigeons, crows, owls, endangered vultures, and other birds are wounded or killed every year as a result of becoming entangled in these strings during or right after kite-flying seasons.

Since August 2022, following PETA India’s appeal, the governments of Chandigarh, Haryana, Maharashtra, and Punjab have issued notifications prohibiting the notorious nylon “Chinese” manja as well as glass- and metal-coated “desi” kite strings and mandated plain cotton string for kite flying. Each of these notifications emphasises the environment-polluting effects of reinforced kite string, the danger it imposes on citizens and wildlife, and the power outages it’s responsible for.

PETA India is requesting that the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change issue a nationwide prohibition on the manufacture, sale, and use of all forms of manja – nylon and glass- and metal-coated – and that state governments implement the ban.

Help Us Ban the Use of Deadly Manja