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Vikash Sharma

A day after a youth died after his throat was slit by a kite thread at Pirbazaar in Cuttack, the Commissionerate Police detained a trader who was allegedly selling Manja (glass powder coated thread) at Jagatpur area of the city on Monday.

Cuttack DCP, Prateek Singh said that already a case in connection with the death of the youth has been registered and raids are being carried out in different parts of the city. The raids are currently underway at Naya Sarak and Nandi Sahi areas by the Purighat Police.

“Already several restrictions have been clamped on the use and sale of Manja and other nylon and plastic threads for flying of kites. We have registered a case in connection with yesterday’s incident,” said Singh.

Singh further said that a drive is currently underway against those who are involved in manufacturing of such ‘killer threads’ and stern action will be taken against them.

On Sunday, a biker died after a kite string reportedly hanging on the road slit his throat at Pirbazaar in the city. The deceased has been identified as Jayant Samal, a resident of Bhayarpur.

The mishap took place when Samal was on his way to his in-law’s house along with his wife.

It is pertinent to mention here that several persons have lost their lives in similar mishaps due to Manja threads in different parts of Cuttack in the past.

A minor girl died in a similar mishap near Telengapentha in January 2016.

In 2016, the Orissa High Court had subsequently directed the Cuttack-Bhubaneswar police to maintain vigil over the sale of Chinese Manja threads and other Manja dangerous to human beings, animals and birds.

Already restriction are in place on the use and sale of Chinese Manja of plastic, cotton and nylon used to fly kites in the city.

In 2018, the administration had also imposed ban on flying kites at places of public gathering and rooftops in the city, while permitting the practice in open places identified for the purpose.

However, it seems that lack of special drives in enforcing the restriction is to be blamed for such mishaps in the city. Local residents say that kite flying has been a favourite pass time of the residents in the city.

Of late, the practice of flying kites has been limited following such mishaps. Earlier, people used to fly kites for over a month starting from December. The residents allege that the district administration and police jump into action mode only after some mishaps occurs. The banned threads are sold clandestinely in different parts of the city.

Meanwhile, the Cuttack Municipal Corporation (CMC) today directed its enforcement team to conduct inspections at shops to check the sale and use of such dangerous threads in the city.

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