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Posted at: Nov 9, 2018, 1:27 AM; last updated: Nov 9, 2018, 1:27 AM (IST)

Cracker ban up in smoke

Unidentified residents booked in only 14 FIRs in city
Cracker ban up in smoke
A child bursts crackers during Diwali on Wednesday. Tribune photo: Himanshu Mahajan

Nikhil Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 8

Despite strict directions by the Supreme Court regarding bursting of crackers within the permissible time period on Diwali, the ban imposed by the apex court literally went up in up smoke in the industrial hub of Punjab.

Although the city police claimed before Diwali that special teams had been formed to implement the Supreme Court ban, nothing such thing on ground was seen. Despite there being enough nakas in the city, policemen or PCR staff were not seen patrolling localities to stop the residents from bursting crackers after the permissible time period.

The state government had also issued directions to all deputy commissioners, police commissioners, senior superintendents of police and regional officers of the Punjab Pollution Control Board for strict compliance with the apex court’s order.

According to the orders, the authorities had to be alert on Diwali night to stop bursting of crackers beyond the stipulated period from 8 pm to 10 pm. In case of any violation, the SHO concerned would be held responsible and strict action initiated. This was recently stated by Director Environment and Climate Change KS Pannu.

According to the orders of Police Commissioner Sukhchain Singh Gill, anyone found bursting crackers beyond the permissible time limit may be booked under Section 188, which suggests imprisonment between one and six months, and a fine from Rs 200 to Rs 1,000. The local police registered 14 such FIRs against several unidentified residents. Identifying the culprits will be a daunting task for the police. These FIRs have been registered at 10 police stations, out of a total of 28, which means areas that fall under 18 police stations have no reports of ban violation

No action on residents’ complaints

Several residents alleged that they made repeated calls to Police Control Room after noticing cracker-bursting after 10 pm, but no action was taken against the violators. Sources said the control room staff had alerted the police stations concerned, still no action was taken.

What DCP says

DCP Ashwani Kapoor said that FIRs were registered after the police got to know about the violations after 10 pm. Now, the SHOs have been told to identify the culprits and take the cases to their logical end. He said a technical team was also checking the photos and videos sent by complainants and live videos on Facebook to identify the culprits.


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