This Independence Day, which is also the national capital’s unofficial kite-flying day, the skyline over Red Fort will be devoid of kites.
To prevent stray kites from falling inside Red Fort during the Prime Minister’s address to the nation and the flag-hoisting ceremony, the police have taken the help of 231 regular kite-flyers from the walled city area to ensure a clear sky for about three hours that morning.
In addition, police in Delhi’s north district including the Red Fort area have recognized around 350 rooftop locations where their personnel will make use of long bamboo sticks to snag stray kites.
According to a senior police officer, the new Delhi Police Commissioner, Sanjay Arora, was briefed about the initiative when he sought a presentation about the force’s preparations for Independence Day hours after taking charge on Monday.
“Immediately, the north and central district DCPs, and DCP (security division), were asked to come with their presentations. They informed the police chief that they have identified all skilled kite-flyers of their area, and that they will keep them engaged from 6 am to 9 am on August 15”, the officer quoted in a report by the Indian Express.
Another officer said prohibitory orders under IPC section 144 have been imposed on flying kites near Red Fort during the Independence Day function, with violators facing action under section 188 (disobedience of official orders).
In 2018, a stray kite fell near PM Narendra Modi during his speech and last year, another kite fell on a tree inside Red Fort during the ceremony — both were considered security lapses.
DCP (north district) Sagar Singh Kalsi told the Indian Express that they are taking help of kite-flyers and resident welfare associations and market welfare groups to prevent such occurrences. “We have met with these kite-flyers and they have assured their support. Along with them, we will also raise awareness about not flying kites on August 15 from 6 am to 9 am”, Kalsi said.
As per police data, 231 skilled kite-flyers have been identified in the north district. The central district police, meanwhile, are wrapping up surveys in their jurisdiction.
A resident of the Sadar Bazar area stated, “My younger brother is a regular kite-flyer but both of us have decided to help the police. We attended meetings at the Sadar Bazar police station along with other regular kite-flyers in our area. We discussed several strategies to stop others in our area from flying kites till 11 am on August 15. Initially, we were planning to use our kites to cut down other kites, but the idea was dropped by senior officers.”
Another regular, Mohammmad Salauddin, an electrician, said that they have started making announcements in their localities to not involve in kite-flying on 15 August.
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