Following complaints from PETA India that dangerous and illegal manja was being sold in Delhi markets, Delhi police constituted an undercover team and conducted raids in the Lal Kuan market in Delhi in the presence of representatives from PETA India. During the raids, several kilos and hundreds of spools of illegal manja were seized and four offenders were booked under Section 5 of the Environment Protection Act (EPA), 1986, for violations 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.
In August 2020, after receiving complaints from PETA India, Delhi police seized about 100 kilograms of manja from various shops in Chand Mohalla. In 2019, similar raids were conducted in Sadar Bazaar and Bara Hindu Rao in North Delhi and Madhu Vihar in East Delhi. The complaints were filed under Section 5 of the EPA, which has a provision for a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh and a jail term of up to five years.
Thousands of birds are killed every year after being cut or trapped by manja, which can get caught on trees or buildings. In July this year, a motorcyclist was seriously injured by sharp manja, and another motorcyclist died in the Timarpur area after his neck was slashed by sharp manja in 2019. In July of the same year, a 3-year-old girl died after a stray piece of manja cut the neck of her uncle, causing the motorcycle they were riding to crash, and in August, a 28-year-old engineer died in Delhi after the sharp string slit his throat.
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