Krishna Janmashtami: SC's orders on height restrictions flouted in Mumbai and Thane

Mumbai: Despite a Supreme Court order on height restrictions, several organisations in Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai celebrated the dahi-handi ritual on Janmashtami with protests, black bands and black flags on Thursday.

Several politically-backed organisations of the estimated 1,500-plus groups who conduct the event flouted the apex court order. The court had set a 20 foot or four-tier height limit for the human pyramids to be formed for the occasion of the festival that marks Lord Krishna's birthday. It had also ruled that minors would be excluded from acting as the Govinda at the top of the pyramid who is tasked with breaking the pot full of curd, milk and other goodies.

Krishna Janmashtami: SCs orders on height restrictions flouted in Mumbai and Thane

Representational image of human pyramid on Krishna Janmashtami. PTI

While one Dadar organisation built a 'horizontal' pyramid on the ground and then broke the pot at a height of more than 30 feet, but the Govinda climbed a ladder to break it.

The participants of some organisations sported black shorts and arm-bands to protest the apex court ruling and after breaking the dahi-handi, the topmost Govinda waved a black flag.

In Thane, an organisation backed by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) erected the dahi-handi at a height of 49 feet in an attempt to create a new world record which will be broken later in the day.

One of the main organisers and MNS activist Avinash Jadhav told mediapersons he was prepared “to go to jail” but would take orders only from his leader, Raj Thackeray.

Mumbai police spokesperson DCP Ashok Dudhe said that the police were photographing and videographing the celebrations across the city.

“All those found flouting the Supreme Court norms shall be prosecuted depending on the kind of violations,” Dudhe warned, though police have not directly intervened to stop the celebrations.

Some other organisations also constructed pyramids that had more than four tiers or exceeded 20 feet and even deployed minor boys to break the dahi-handi pot.

On Wednesday, a division bench of Supreme Court comprising Justice Uday U Lalit and Justice L Nageswara Rao had upheld an earlier Bombay High Court ruling on the issue of height restrictions and participation of teenagers below 18 years during the celebrations.

According to an earlier Firstpost report, the Mumbai police had started sending notices to various organisations, reminding them of the apex court decision.

While all parties were upset about the SC decision, the MNS was vocal about the restrictions. The MNS president even took on the Supreme Court for the curbs and asked party workers to celebrate the festival as they have been celebrating it for all these years.

The Bombay High Court order on 11 April, 2014, had come in response to a PIL filed by social activist Swati S Patil's Utkarsh Mahila Samajik Sanstha citing hundreds of injuries, some permanent, and deaths, of Govindas when the human pyramids come crashing down.

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Updated Date: Aug 25, 2016 17:17:49 IST