Mixed response to dahi-handi celebrations amid SC order

Mixed response to dahi-handi celebrations amid SC order

Mixed response to dahi-handi celebrations amid SC order

 As Maharashtra celebrated Krishna Janmashtami on Thursday, several mandals protested in different ways and means.

Some even violated the height restrictions of 20 feet set by the Supreme Court for human pyramids for the dahi-handi ritual.

During the celebrations in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) around 100 people were injured, while the police registered around two dozen offences for violating the norms of the apex court.

During the festival, Govindas, as the participants are called, re-enact the myth of Lord Krishna stealing butter from a hanging plot, known as the dahi-handi.

Reports reaching from various places of MMR, comprising Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburban districts, and parts of neighbouring Thane, Palghar and Raigad districts, suggested low-key celebrations.

126 injured

In MMR, which has around 800 to 1,000 dahi-handi or Govinda-pathaks, more than 126 people were injured during the celebrations.

In Mumbai, from 8 am to 6 pm, 71 Govindas sustained injuries, according to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation. Of these, 92 were given first aid, while 34 have been admitted to hospitals for observation.

Several revellers sported black bands to protest against the height (20 feet maximum) restrictions and age (participants need to be over 18 years) imposed by the Supreme Court. In a mandal at Thane, the person at the top of the pyramid carried a measuring tape by his teeth to ensure that he did not go beyond 20 feet. In Chinchpokli in Mumbai, MNS activists used a ladder to reach the top of the pyramid to break the dahi-handi, while one mandal formed a nine-layered human pyramid on the ground.

In Naupada in Thane district, the police served a notice to local MNS leader Avinash Jadhav, whose mandal allowed the formation of a nine-layered (around 40 plus feet) pyramid by Jai Jawan Govinda Pathak of Jogeshwari, which holds a Guinness record.

 In fact, MNS President Raj Thackeray had criticised the SC-imposed restrictions. Asked about the case police has slapped, Jadhav said: “Saheb (Raj Thackeray) has 92 cases against him...this is just one...we had promised nine-layered pyramid...it is done...we had promised Rs 11 lakh prize...that is done...now whatever has to be done, it is by police”. Jadhav, the Thane MNS chief,  was seen wearing a T-shirt that read “hoye, mi kayda modnar” ( I will break the law). The Jari Mari Govinda Pathak stopped at the Mahim dargah and offered its respect to Makhdum Ali Mahimi, as a mark of communal harmony.

At Mumbai Football Club's dahi-handi Ranbir Kapoor was present with Yuva Sena President Aditya Thackeray. Several other celebrities too visited dahi-handi mandals.

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