Seven-year-old girl dies after throat slit by Chinese manjha
Delhi has, for decades, been unable to stamp out the use of manjha to fly kites, with the city consequently reporting several injuries and deaths every year.
A seven-year-old girl was killed in west Delhi’s Paschim Vihar after her throat was slit by Chinese manjha (glass-coated kite string) while she was sitting in front of her father on his motorcycle, police said on Thursday, in what is the year’s first death of a menace that the Capital has found hard to shake off.
The four were riding in the Paschim Vihar area on Wednesday evening when the incident took place.Police identified the victim as Nupur, and said her father, elder sister and mother, who were sitting behind her, were unharmed.
Harendra K Singh, deputy commissioner of police (outer), said the Paschim Vihar (west) police station received a call regarding the incident from Sri Balaji Action Hospital at 7.27pm.
Harendra K Singh, deputy commissioner of police (outer) said a case against unknown people was registered under sections 304A (causing death by negligence) and 188 (disobeying an order promulgated by a public servant) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Sandeep Kumar, 35, the girl’s father, told HT over the phone that the incident occurred when they were travelling to their relatives’ house in Pashchim Vihar. “The manjha thread was virtually invisible. By the time I could stop my motorcycle, the manjha had already slit her throat,” he said.
Delhi has, for decades, been unable to stamp out the use of manjha to fly kites, with the city consequently reporting several injuries and deaths of the sharp thread every year. The number of instances usually spikes in the weeks running-up to Independence Day every year, as more people take to the Capital’s rooftops to fly kites.
According to Delhi Police data, three people died and 11 were injured after their throats were slit by the thread.
The Delhi government in January 2017 and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in July that year prohibited the sale, manufacture and supply of glass-coated thread across the city, taking note of a spate of injuries to human beings and animals.
A notice circulated from the office of police commissioner Sanjay Arora, signed by his officer on special duty (OSD) Manishi Chandra, noted that Chinese manjha has been banned by the National Green Tribunal. The notice also said that the Delhi high court, in a February 23 order, directed police to conduct periodic inspections to check that Chinese manjha is not being sold anywhere.
The notice added, “All DCPs shall make best endeavours to create awareness among target groups, utilise ‘Eyes and Ears’ to ill-effects and illegality of use of Chinese manjha, ensure strict surveillance, and carry out sustained enforcement. A fortnightly performance assessment of DCPs on this count shall be discussed at PHQ (police headquarters) level.”
The police are investigating the incident, but experts said culpability is nearly impossible to establish in such cases. BK Singh, a former joint commissioner in the Delhi Police, said it is very hard for the police to ascertain which thread is being used to fly kites. “Only awareness can solve this problem,” he said.