Police seize 'manjas' after PETA's complaint

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New Delhi : On a complaint by PETA-India, the police have seized "manja" from the shops who were selling it illegally in the city, a statement said on Friday.

"Various markets in Delhi are openly selling kite-flying strings or manja that can injure and kill humans and animals, despite a citywide ban on their use and sale," People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)-India said in a statement.

After receiving a complaint, the Delhi police on Thursday seized nearly 100 kilograms of manja from various shops in Lal Kuan kite market near Chandni Chowk and Chand Mohalla in Gandhi Nagar.

The traders were selling manja openly, and the police has registered First Information Reports (FIRs) under section 188 of the Indian Penal Code against the offenders for violation of the January 10, 2017 Gazette notification from the Delhi government banning the sale, production, storage, supply, import, and use of all forms of manja in order to prevent harm to humans, birds, and other animals as well as the environment.

The notification permits kite flying only with a cotton thread free of any materials designed to increase its sharpness or strength.

"Most people would choose plain cotton kite strings if they knew that doing so could spare fellow humans, birds, and other animals serious injuries and death," PETA Associate Director of Policy Nikunj Sharma said.

"The Delhi police are setting a great example by protecting residents, including animals, from dangerous manja," he added.

Four people, including two children, were killed by the sharp manja in Delhi in 2016.

Birds also die every year when they are cut or trapped by the strings, which can get caught on trees or buildings and remain there for weeks.

Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir bird hospital here treated more than 700 birds who had been injured in just the three days around the Independence Day in 2017.