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850 arrested in Delhi on Diwali day for flouting NGT ban on crackers

According to data with the Delhi Police, the force filed over 1,000 cases and seized 1,314.42 kg of firecrackers on 14 November, the Diwali day.

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New Delhi: The Delhi Police arrested 850 people on the day of Diwali, 14 November, for flouting the National Green Tribunal’s blanket ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers. According to data put out by the force on its Twitter handle, as many as 1,206 cases were also registered on the day. 

The maximum number of cases were registered from Outer-North Delhi where 165 people were arrested, 165 cases filed and 118.1 kg of crackers seized. But it was Outer Delhi where the most crackers were seized — 286.2 kg — followed closely by Shahdara at 266.4 kg and South West Delhi at 260.7 kg.

The best performing areas were New Delhi and Central Delhi where 17 cases each were filed, 10 and 15 people respectively arrested, 0.47 kg and 1.4 kg of crackers, respectively seized. A total of 1,314.42 kg and 106 pieces — the latter just from Rohini — of crackers were seized.

“Most of the cases were filed under Section 188 and Section 107/151 of the CrPC,” DCP New Delhi and PRO E. Singhal told ThePrint. The 850 people arrested includes those “boundown”, which means “they will be produced before a magistrate and surety amount will be deposited by them as decided”, Singhal added. The 1,206 figure of cases filed also includes kalandras — “which are formal complaints registered by police”. 

The data does not distinguish between how many FIRs were filed and how many people received a kalandras notice, nor does it specify how many people were boundown and how many arrested. 

Spate of arrests

The Delhi Police put out data from the days preceding Diwali as well. 

On 8 November — a day after the Delhi Pollution Control Committee imposed a complete ban on firecrackers —  the Delhi Police arrested seven persons for selling firecrackers and one for bursting. 

On 9 November — when the NGT ban came into force — 12 people were arrested for selling and eight for bursting. On 11 November, 10 persons were arrested for selling and one for bursting, while four persons were arrested for selling and two for bursting on 12 November and four were arrested for selling and three for bursting on 13 November

In total, 1,292 cases were filed and 926 people arrested on Diwali and the days preceding it. This number shows a sharp increase from last year, when 433 cases were filed and 261 people arrested. The total seizure of firecrackers, however, saw a drop from last year’s 9,758 kg to this year’s 4,725 kg. 

According to the NGT order, firecrackers have been banned completely from 9 November to 30 November, and from 7 November to 30 November by the Delhi Pollution Control Committee. The decision was taken by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal following a high-level meeting with Chief Secretary Vijay Dev and magistrates. 

Also read: Morning after Diwali, Delhi air quality ‘severe’ but better than last year’s, relief likely


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