MNS workers defy ban to celebrate 'Dahi Handi' festival
(Sourced from PTI)
Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers celebrated the traditional Dahi Handi festival in Thane in Maharashtra and the neighboring Palghar district, even though the celebrations have been banned in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The popular festival organized during Gokulashtami, also known as Janmashtami, which attracts a lot of crowds, is being observed in some places on Tuesday.
Around Monday midnight, a large number of MNS activists, including women, gathered at Naupada in Thane and hung a dahi handi (an earthen pot filled with curd) at a height in the area. They formed a pyramid and a woman activist climbed atop and broke the curd pot. The city police later took five party activists into custody for defying the prohibitory orders.
The MNS activists also had an argument with the police when they tried to stop them. MNS Thane-Palghar unit Chief Avinash Jadhav, who was arrested earlier in the day for holding a protest over their demand for allowing Dahi Handi celebrations and later released, was also present during the event that was held late at night.
A number of party activists also organized similar celebrations in Thane's Vartak Nagar and in the Nalla Sopara area of adjoining Palghar district on late Monday night. Talking to reporters, Jadhav claimed the Shiv Sena came to power by bagging Hindu votes but had betrayed the community by prohibiting its functions. He said they would celebrate the festival, irrespective of the ban.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray last week told the festival organizers that Maharashtra should set an example by setting aside celebration of festivals for some time to get rid of COVID-19 completely. He had said the health of citizens should be given priority during a pandemic.