For Immediate Release:
27 September 2019
Nikunj Sharma; [email protected]
Garima Jain; [email protected]
Raids Were Conducted by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate and Delhi Police With Support From PETA India
Delhi – Following complaints by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) India that dangerous and illegal manja was being sold in Delhi markets, the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) of Kotwali, Gaurav Saini, organised a police team and conducted raids in the Lal Kuan market in Delhi in the presence of representatives from PETA India. During the raids, several kilos of illegal manja were recovered, the offenders were fined Rs 1 lakh each under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986;, and seven shops were sealed immediately as per the directions of the SDM.
The offenders were caught selling manja illegally, in violation of the 10 January 2017 Gazette notification of the Delhi government that bans 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.
Photos of the raid are available upon request.
“We commend the directions given by the SDM to seal the shops and the decision to impose the maximum fine possible on the offenders. This will go a long way towards protecting the lives of humans, birds, and other animals,” says PETA Associate Director of Policy Nikunj Sharma. “Most people would choose to use only plain cotton kite strings if they knew that doing so could spare fellow humans and other animals serious injuries and even death.”
“It was very important to set a strong precedent to deter offenders from continuing to sell the banned manja. This year alone, at least six humans and more than 700 birds have died as a result of manja. The sharp metal coating has also caused many instances of technical issues in the Delhi metro, causing inconvenience to numerous commuters,” says Saini. “The government is clear that the menace of manja has to be met with zero tolerance.”
In August, after receiving complaints from PETA India, the Delhi police seized about 100 kilograms of manja from various shops in Sadar Bazar and Bara Hindu Rao in North Delhi and Madhu Vihar in East Delhi. The complaints were filed under Section 5 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, which has a provision for a fine of up to Rs 1 lakh and a jail term of up to 5 years.
Thousands of birds are killed every year after being cut or trapped by manja, which can get caught on trees or buildings. In February, a motorcyclist died in the Timarpur area after his neck was slashed by sharp manja. In July, 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. In August, a 28-year-old engineer died in Delhi after the sharp string slit his throat.
PETA India – whose motto reads, in part, “animals are not ours to abuse in any way” – opposes speciesism, which is a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit PETAIndia.com.