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From West Bengal to Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Punjab: Ahead of Diwali, state govts launch ‘crackdown’ against traders for selling firecrackers

Launching a massive crackdown, various state governments have carried out raids on traders and seized a huge amount of crackers on the pretext of cracker ban causing huge losses to these small businessmen.

Following the arbitrary firecrackers ban announced by the state governments, the respective police forces have been ruthlessly acting against the small businessmen, traders for ‘illegally’ selling the crackers ahead of Deepavali festival.

Launching a massive crackdown, various state governments have carried out raids on traders and seized huge amount of crackers on the pretext of cracker ban causing huge losses to these small businessmen.

West Bengal:

The West Bengal police have been forefront at seizing and carrying out raids at traders selling crackers. The police have seized crackers near Sealdah and Ultadanga railway stations and arrested three persons for selling crackers. Kolkata Police deputy commissioner (central division) Sudhir Kumar said they are carrying out special raids to confiscate fireworks.

“We have already seized a good quantity of crackers and have stepped up vigil to ensure there is no trading in any fireworks this year,” he said.

A team of officers from Burrabazar police station also raided Old China Bazaar and arrested three people for selling firecrackers. “Approximately 122kg of crackers were seized from them,” Kumar said. Similarly, at Duttabad in Bidhannagar City, the West Bengal Police arrested at least two shopkeepers for selling crackers. The shopkeepers pleaded to say that they were just selling the stock that had been purchased before the ban kicked in.

In Bidhannagar, over 200kgs of illegal crackers were seized and five were arrested from Chhainabhi, New Town, Rajarhat and Narayanpur areas on Friday. In Bidhannagar, over 200kgs of illegal crackers were seized and five were arrested from Chhainabhi, New Town, Rajarhat and Narayanpur areas on Friday.

The West Bengal police, who seems to be on high-alert, have created multiple checkpoints at Behala, Taratala, Patuli and Kidderpore to stop crackers from being ‘smuggled’ into the city from the fireworks hubs at Champahati and Nungi in South 24 Parganas. At Anandapur, the police have found 2.5kg of crackers and 1.5kg of gunpowder in gunny bags.

“We are taking all necessary measures possible to prevent sale of crackers in these areas. We are conducting surprise checks and have been regularly holding meetings with representatives of the market committees and the sellers,” said Sudhir Kumar, the deputy commissioner (north division) of Kolkata Police.

Late evening raids were carried out against sellers Canning Street and Old China Bazaar in Kolkatta for selling sparklers, charkhas, flower-pot crackers and shells. The police seized 122kgs of crackers from them.

Uttar Pradesh:

The Uttar Pradesh police have also raided various place across the state to seize a huge amount of firecrackers. On Friday, eight people were arrested in Gurugram for allegedly selling firecrackers in violation of the NGT direction imposing complete ban on the sale and use of crackers in the National Capital Region.

The police have also recovered two bags containing firecrackers and four cases have been registered in connection with the arrests and an investigation is on.

Addition to that, enforcing the ban on selling crackers, the Uttar Pradesh police have recovered crackers from two warehouses in Uttar Pradesh’s Raebareli.

Delhi:

Meanwhile, in the national capital, the Delhi Police on Wednesday said it has seized nearly 1,770 kilos of firecrackers, registered 14 more cases and arrested 11 persons for violating the Delhi government’s and the National Green Tribunal (NGT)’s ban on the sale and use of all kinds of firecrackers in Delhi-NCR till November 30.

The total number of such cases registered since November 7 has risen to 39, while 32 persons have been arrested, including two people for bursting crackers. The Delhi police has said that they have seized 2,794 kg crackers so far.

The raids in Delhi comes after the Delhi government had announced a complete ban on the sale and use of fireworks, including “green varieties”, till November 30.

Punjab:

The Ambala police have recovered eight sacks of illegal crackers from a retailer in the city’s Baans Bazaar on Thursday, FIR on which was lodged at Ambala City police station on Friday.

A police officer, reacting to the seizure of crackers, said, “The man’s negligence could have proved dangerous for nearby residents, as he was selling crackers without licence. We informed duty magistrate Ajay Kumar and raided the shop where we found a huge quantity of crackers”.

Odisha:

In Odisha, the police have raided a manufacturing unit and firecrackers has been seized and sealed in Jalalpur village in Jajpur district of Odisha. The police have seized firecrackers worth lakhs of rupees in Odisha’s Jajpur and arrested a person in this connection.

The police claimed that the firecrackers were being manufactured illegally at the residence of a man identified as Mohan Jena. The accused has been forwarded to court while further investigation is underway.

In state’s capital Bhubaneswar, the police carried out seized crackers worth over Rs 30 lakh from a godown on the outskirts of the city. Jatni police conducted a raid at the godown in Rathipur and seized the crackers from non-licence holders Trilochan Patnaik and Manoj Sahoo who have been arrested.

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