The Gujarat High Court has issued notice to the state government on a PIL seeking ban on flying kites and hot air balloon lanterns during the 'Uttarayan' festival while arguing that they cause death and injuries to humans, animals and birds. A division bench of Chief Justice R Subhash Reddy and Justice V M Pancholi issued notice to the government and posted the matter for next hearing on December 20. The bench asked the government to explain as to what measures have been taken to prevent accidents caused due to kites during Uttarayan. Petitioner Siddhrajsinh Chudasama said ban on flying kites is required to ensure that the rights of life, safety and security enshrined in the Constitution are protected. He also said that hot air balloon lanterns flown during Uttarayan should be banned too as they fall from the sky causing incidents of fire. "The petitioner respectfully submits that not only innocent birds and animals, even the pedestrians and the people who regularly commute using their two-wheelers are being killed and injured by the 'manja' (abrasive string used for kite flying) which slits their throats or slashes their necks which unfortunately causes excessive loss of blood resulting in death in most cases," he said. He also said that kite flyers commit offences under the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 and Wild Life Protection Act, 1972. Chudasama pleaded that the court should direct authorities to restrict kite flying either through complete ban or through ban on particular days and time, in order to minimise accidents and causalities caused due to kites. People fly kites both before and after the Uttarayan festival which is held on January 14 each year.
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