RAWALPINDI: A boy was killed after he suffered an electric shock while catching a stray kite, and 165 people were injured from stray bullets and in kite flying-related incidents on Friday.
The city echoed with the sound of gunfire as people celebrated Basant ignoring the government ban.
Mohammad Usman, 12, a resident of Dhoke Kala Khan, died after he suffered an electric shock and sustained burn injuries on his face and chest while catching a stray kite.
A teenage boy, Mohsin Hussain, was injured in a similar incident in the same locality.
Police round up 450 people during crackdown against kite flyers
Though 2,500 police personnel had been deployed to check kite flying and aerial firing, people violated the ban to celebrate the festival, especially in Sadiqabad, Dhoke Kala Khan, Pirwadhai, Hazara Colony and Shamasabad.
Of the total number of injured, 35 cases were reported to Benazir Bhutto Hospital, 33 to Holy Family Hospital and 95 to the District Headquarters Hospital. As many as 25 of the injured were hospitalised with bullet injuries. Moreover, 20 people, including a five-year-old girl, and a woman were injured after being hit by kite strings in different parts of the city.
Of the 95 injured shifted to the DHQ hospital, 65 were treated for multiple injuries caused by falling and five each were treated for bullet and kite string injuries.Syed Mujtaba, 24, a police official, was also injured while falling from stairs when he tried to round up kite flyers. He was given first aid by Rescue services staff at the spot.
A passerby was injured after a stray bullet fired by unidentified people hit him in the neck near Mandi Mor.
Another 12-year-old boy, Shahyar Gill, a resident of Morgah, was injured after a motorcycle hit him while he was catching a stray kite on Peshawar Road.
Mohammad Farooq, 28, who was passing through Shah Allah Ditta Road, sustained a bullet injury.
Fatima Arslan, 5, was injured after being hit by a stray bullet in Ratta Amral. She was shifted to the DHQ hospital where she was stated to be out of danger. Ahsan Ahmad, a close relative of the injured girl, told Dawn that Fatima was travelling with her parents in a motorcycle when the bullet hit her.
“She was taken to the DHQ hospital where doctors confirmed that she had been hit by a bullet,” he added.
A police spokesman said in a statement said around 450 people were arrested during a crackdown against kite flyers and thousands of kites, strings, sound systems, fireworks as well as weapons and ammunition were recovered and seized.
He said surveillance teams were monitoring kite flyers with the help of drones and other cameras.
He said raids were being carried out to trace those seen in videos obtained through drones and other cameras.
Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2021