A police case has been registered against organisers of Dahi-Handi celebrations, who openly defied Supreme Court orders regarding the event in Thane, Maharashtra. A total of 16 Govinda-Mandals, who participated in the event, have also been named in the FIR. The move came after Thane police objected to the arrangements made for the event. The police intervention forced the organisers to reduce the height of the ‘dahi-handi’, which was strung up this morning at 49 feet. The apex court, in its recent guidelines, had allowed a height up to 20 feets for the event.
The event, organised by Raj Thackrey’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, saw a clear violation of apex court’s order by building a more than 40-ft high pyramid. “If I need to break the law to safeguard Maharashtrian festivals, I am ready to do so. The restriction on tiers is not a law but an order of the court. We have asked govindas to make as many tiers as they want,” Avinash Jadhav, MNS Thane city chief was quoted as saying by Hindustan Times.
It was also reported that SC order disallowing anyone below the age of 18 to participate in the human pyramids event was also disobeyed. Last year, a boy died and 300 people were injured during the dahi-handi festivities in Maharashtra. The violation was followed by the remarks of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena or MNS chief Raj Thackeray, who had reportedly told his party workers to celebrate the festival in a “traditional way.” Refusing to rethink its 20-feet cap for the handi, apex court on Wednesday had termed the idea to increase the height as ‘very scary’ and asked if the organisers will get a medal for it. “To increase the height is very scary. Are you getting an Olympic medal also for this? Then we will be happy,” the court had asked a Mumbai-based group which petitioned it to allow higher handis.