More than 1,000 flout traffic norms in Maharashtra’s Thane

Anticipating heavy traffic, the traffic police department had increased patrolling in the area.
Traffic police registered more than 1,000 cases of traffic violations in Thane.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
Traffic police registered more than 1,000 cases of traffic violations in Thane.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
Updated on Aug 25, 2019 10:22 AM IST
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Hindustan Times, Mumbai | ByHT Correspondents

Thane Traffic police registered more than 1,000 cases of traffic violations in Thane, Kalyan, Dombivli, Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath and Mumbra on Saturday. Anticipating heavy traffic, the department had increased patrolling across the region. “We registered 529 cases for driving without helmets, 419 for triple-seat riding on two-wheelers, 69 for rash driving, 57 of unnecessary honking, and eight for talking on the phone while driving,” said an officer from the traffic department. While the highest number of triple-seat riding (113) and honking cases (43) were reported in Wagle, Kopri and Naupada saw the highest cases of driving without helmet (143) and rash-driving (33) respectively.

MNS workers raise an ‘EVM handi’

Despite lacklustre Dahi Handi celebrations this year, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers invited fresh trouble for themselves after they tried to break an electronic voting machine (EVM) ‘handi’ near Char Rasta in Dombivli on Saturday. The police detained party workers when they were trying to raise an EVM on a rope and break it. Senior police inspector Suresh Aher said MNS workers first broke a regular Dahi Handi, and then tried placing an EVM in place of it. “They can protest in some other peaceful manner rather than raising these issues during a religious festival. Placing the voter machine as the handi could have led to dispute with other political parties. We wanted to ensure that peace prevails in the city. Thus we had warned them against doing it,” said Aher.

The party workers, however, continued to chant anti-government slogans. “As the police didn’t allow us to raise the handi by placing the EVM machine, we protested by hanging banners against the use of EVM machines in upcoming Assembly elections and promoting the use of ballot box,” said Kadam.

Govindas pay respects to Sufi saint

Every year on Dahi Handi, the members of the Shree Sainath Govinda Pathak in Bandra (West) form a human pyramid outside the Mahim dargah to pay their respects to the revered Sufi saint Pir Makhdoom Shah Mahimi. The pathak has been doing so for the past 10 years.

“The dargah is a symbol of humanity and equality for all the residents staying around it. Every year, the Dahi Handi and Ganpati festivities in the area begin from here. The volunteers of the dargah also actively participate in these events and help the police to man traffic,” said Sohail Khandwani, managing trustee of the dargah.

Pro-Govinda League enters its third year

For the third year in a row, Thane MLA Pratap Sarnaik’s Sanskruti Yuva Prathishthaan organised its Pro-Govinda League as an attempt to promote human pyramid formation as a traditional sport. As part of the event, teams form an eight-tiered human pyramid simultaneously. The team that finishes in the least amount of time wins 5 lakh and a trophy. This year, 12 teams were selected after holding trial rounds. “Around 220 mandals participated in the event. This year’s winning team created a nine-tiered human pyramid, a feat they managed to achieve after nine years,” said Sarnaik.

Two events see huge turnout in Thane

With most of the celebrations called off this year, Thane saw only two Dahi Handi events – Sanskruti Yuva Pratishthan handi in Vartak Nagar and MNS’s event in Naupada. As a result, these two events saw a massive crowd and a long wait for their turn. Navin Shelar, a govinda from Hindmata Govinda Pathak, said, “We waited for more than an hour and had to make many requests for our turn to come.” Govinda groups from Kalyan to Malad had converged in Thane, adding to the commotion. Meanwhile, an argument broke out between one of the pathaks and organisers owing to the delay. The organisers had a difficult time managing the crowd as. ”The crowd started increasing after noon and was difficult to manage. There were more than three groups making tiers at one time on the ground. We started making a list on first-come-first-serve basis and announced the names accordingly. Everyone was given a fair chance,” said an organiser.

300-year-old tradition lives on at Navi Mumbai’s Panvel

NAVI MUMBAI Every year, scores of people gather in front of a Vitthal idol at Bapatwada in Panvel to participate in a 300-year-old tradition. According to a popular belief, anyone who breaks a dahi handi hung from a height of six-seven feet at the site gets their wishes fulfilled. Chief organiser Rajendra Bapat said, “The tradition dates back to 1720.” Meanwhile, a peculiar 150-year-old tradition in Panvel includes govindas beating themselves up with a jute rope. “It is believed that lord Krishna enters their bodies. To bring them back to their normal selves, the govindas beat themselves and each other up,” said Anil Kurgule, the event organiser.

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