Killer kites

THE decision of the Punjab Government to impose a ban on kite selling and flying in the province and direction to police to launch a crackdown against those violating the ban was widely hailed by people but regrettably it is not being implemented in letter and spirit due to lack of required interest by police. The practice is going almost unchecked in different areas of Rawalpindi (and also in Islamabad) and as a result many citizens have sustained injuries. On Friday, a woman was taken to the District Headquarters Hospital after a stray bullet reportedly fired by a kite flyer hit her in the R.A. Bazaar area of Rawalpindi.
Some people believe that there should be no ban on celebrating Basant or kite flying as these have become a sort of industry generating a sizeable income for all those involved in the business of producing kites and related items, their sale as well as functions organized to celebrate the festival. However, the unchecked practice has caused many deaths and injuries to many more. In majority of cases, cyclists and motor-cyclists become victim of kite Dor (thread) cutting their throats instantly and some of them passed away before reaching any medical facility. Apart from this, the practice of firing and frequent quarrels among kite flyers create tension in many localities. There are also many other social evils associated with the celebration of Basant and kite flying and, therefore, there was every justification to ban the practice. However, it is unfortunate that the police have not been able to enforce the ban in the areas of their jurisdiction and as a consequence innocent people continue to suffer. As kite flying in populous areas and on streets, roads and highways has become a serious risk to the life of the people, there should be zero tolerance for those indulging in this practice and they must be treated as wilful murderers. Apart from police, it is also duty of the parents, civil society and media to educate about on the grave side of kite flying so as to induce all those who engage in this negative activity to stay away from harming other citizens.

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