People burst crackers at Phase-XI in Mohali on Diwali. Unlike Chandigarh, fireworks were allowed here from 8pm to 10pm.(Gurminder Singh/HT)
People burst crackers at Phase-XI in Mohali on Diwali. Unlike Chandigarh, fireworks were allowed here from 8pm to 10pm.(Gurminder Singh/HT)

Cracker ban goes up in smoke in Chandigarh with 11 arrests, 25 FIRs in Mohali

Most violations reported from UT village areas whereas in neighbouring Mohali, police took action against people bursting crackers beyond the permitted time limit of 8pm to 10pm
By HT Correspondent, Chandigarh /mohali
UPDATED ON NOV 15, 2020 11:01 PM IST

A cracker ban imposed by the Chandigarh administration was ignored in some sectors on Diwali on Saturday despite police patrolling with 11 persons arrested for violations. About 25 first information reports (FIRs) were filed in Mohali.

Chandigarh police say 11 cases were registered under Section 188 (disobedience of an order duly promulgated by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which involves imprisonment for up to two years with a fine of Rs 1,000, and the Disaster Management Act.

Thirteen cases were registered in 2019 under Section 188.

Awareness drives bore fruit

People by and large didn’t burst crackers. “The awareness drives carried out bore fruit, which is why people were more willing to listen to us and lesser cases were registered,” said Kuldeep Singh Chahal, Chandigarh senior superintendent of police (SSP).

Most of the arrests were made in the villages of the city, including a cracker seller in Manimajra. The police control room received 667 calls, of which 347 spot incidents were generated. Although 113 calls of nuisance created by bursting crackers were received as compared to 75 last year, there were fewer incidents of quarrels, accidents and fires.

Though the offence is bailable, provisions under the Disaster Management Act are stricter as compared to Section 188 of the IPC, which carries maximum jail for only three months. Section 51 of the Act provides for a jail term of two years in case anyone gets hurt and one year for violations.

Police officials also said bail was granted in all the cases on Saturday, but the parties will have to appear in court at a set date.

Many residents violated the cracker ban. Kusum Ghai, a social activist in Sector 45, said fireworks went off at 4 pm near Killa Sahib Gurdwara and continued till the late hours.

Criticising the locals for not paying heed to rules, Hitesh Puri, chairman, Chandigarh Resident Associations Welfare Federation, said, “Police patrolling was going on throughout the night, but people also need to abide by the rules. Crackers were being burst in most of the Sectors. However, the big aerial crackers which cause the most pollution remained missing this time.”

Beyond time limit

In Mohali, 25 FIRs were registered under Section 188 for bursting crackers beyond the permitted time — 8pm to 10pm, versus zero cases last year.

“We have registered 25 cases against the people from the district bursting crackers beyond permissible time limit,” said Satinder Singh, SSP Mohali.

Challans were issued on traffic violations.

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