In his brazen, cocky manner, MNS supremo Raj Thackeray has threatened the Fadnavis government to dare act against the Dahi Handi organisers, who flouted Supreme Court orders on Janmashtmi.
What Was The SC Rule?
The Supreme Court had set restrictions of 20 feet on the height of Dahi Handi pyramid and prescribed a minimum age of 18 years for the participants. Raj Thackeray not only openly announced he was going to flout it, he went ahead and did it.
Several organisers, who are local MNS leaders in Thane and Mumbai, publicly ridiculed the Supreme Court and its guidelines. While minor govindas were climbing up 7th and 8th layers of human pyramids, policemen were simply watching the mockery of the apex court.
FIRs lodged, But No Arrests Made So Far
Even though there was a lot of chatter that the Thane organisers will be arrested, none have been made so far.
FIRs were registered against 18 organisers under stringent sections like 308 (culpable homicide), 336 (endangering human life and safety of others), 188 (disobedience of an order by a public servant) and 149 (unlawful assembly). These can attract imprisonment of upto 3 years along with fine.
Raj Thackeray Brazenly Supports His Men
In today’s press conference, Raj Thackeray remained unapologetic about flouting the SC’s order, and even said that he will back his men who have been booked by the police. This gesture obviously had political implications, with Raj Thackeray trying to score political mileage from the brouhaha, and also loudly take credit for keeping up with the spirit of ‘Govindahood’. Through his statements, he also sought to assure his MNS workers that no matter what, he will side by them, even if they have done some wrong.
As far as the Fadnavis government is concerned, it seemed to be confused about handling the issue from the beginning. On Wednesday morning, it had requested the Supreme Court to review its restrictions as Dahi Handi was “associated with religion and it would hurt the people’s sentiment if the restrictions on height continued”.
Within hours, on late Wednesday night, it issued a government resolution (GR) categorising the festival as “cultural event” while the formation of human pyramid as an “adventure sport”.
Some had interpreted it as a way to get around the Supreme Court order.