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Govt drafts laws: Kite flying to become non-bailable offence, 10-year jail term for carrying illegal weapons

By Malik Ashraf

May 7, 2024 07:07 PM


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Amid losses of lives and public concerns of shortcomings in the legal system, the Punjab government is planning to enhance punishments in kite flying and illegal weapons cases, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

Punjab Home Secretary Noorul Amin Mengal called on Advocate General of Punjab Khalid Ishaq and discussed in detail the proposed drafts to increase the punishments in kite flying and illegal weapons cases.

Mengal told Advocate General Punjab that kite flying would be made a non-bailable offence with 5 years prison for the violation of the ban.

Moreover, people involved in online kite flying business especially courtier companies will also be tried under cyber-crime act. Likewise, in display of illegal weapons cases, the government was planning to increase the jail term from four years to ten years. Besides the imprisonment, the fine limit of the offence will also be increased to one million.

On the occasion, Advocate General Punjab gave various suggestions to the Home Secretary for bringing more transparency in the proposed drafts. It is pertinent to mention that despite the 19-year ban, kite flying has claimed over 200 lives and left hundreds injured or disabled in Punjab during the period.

The provincial government now contemplates amendments to the Kite Flying Act. The ban on kite flying and making in Punjab dates back to 2005 when more than 25 fatalities prompted authorities to take action.

Although the ban was intermittently lifted in 2006 and 2007, escalating fatalities led to a reinstatement in 2007.

In response to Supreme Court directives in 2009, the Kite Flying Act was enacted, empowering police to crack down on offenders. Despite its existence, no kite-flyer or string-maker has faced substantial punishment.

According to sources, 90% of the fatalities have been attributed to chemical strings causing neck or facial injuries.

The implementation of the Kite Flying Act led to a decrease in fatalities from 2009 onwards. However, the annual toll remains an average of 17 to 20 deaths and 50 to 55 injuries, especially during the spring festival of Basant celebrated in Punjab.

Efforts to curb the menace have been met with limited success. Despite numerous arrests and cases filed against kite makers, flyers and string sellers, the practice persists. The highest number of cases and arrests have been recorded in Lahore.


Malik Ashraf

Malik Muhammad Ashraf Khokhar is a senior court reporter with City News Network. He has been associated with the group since 2011 and primarily covers news related to the Supreme Court, and the judicial and administrative affairs of the Lahore High Court.


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