RAWALPINDI - Several people got injured owing to massive aerial firing, connecting of metal twine with high voltage power lines, and colliding with vehicles on roads while looting kites during Basant in several areas of the city on Friday.
All victims were rushed to nearby hospitals. The Punjab government has banned the sale and use of metal twine and aerial firing during Basant but the residents continued to enjoy the festival with zeal and fervour.
Scores of citizens ranged up Rescue 15 on intense aerial firing, music in loud voice and other violations. Police played the role of silent spectators the whole day with no action against the lawbreakers. Colourful kites kept covering the sky of Rawalpindi with letting the little children running free on the roads to catch stray kites.
According to sources, two men fell victim of stray bullets fired by jubilant kite flyers in the areas of PS Race Course and Civil Line. In the first incident, a man namely Hameed Gull, 45, son of Muhammad Yousaf, sustained bullet injury at his wrist in the area of Dhoke Seydan, controlled by PS Race Course. The victim was shifted to District Headquarters Hospital where doctors started treating him. A relative of the injured man told The Nation that Hameed was standing on the road when a stray bullet hit his wrist. Area people shifted him in hospital where he was being provided medical treatment, he said.
In the second incident, a stray bullet pierced into foot of one Arslan son of Zulfiqar in the precincts of PS Civil Line. The injured was shifted to Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) for treatment.
The life of an innocent child, who met with a horrific accident at Shah Ke Tahlian while looting stray kite, is in danger at DHQ, a hospital source informed.
Source said that a speeding van loaded with poultry chicken, smashed into one Abdul, 12, son of Alam Jan, who was running on the road to catch a kite. The child received fatal head injuries and brought to DHQ for medical treatment, the source said. The doctors were making hectic efforts to save the live of Abdul, source said.
A one-and-half years old baby namely Hasnat son of Shaukat Ali fell from the rooftop where his family members were flying kites. The incident took place on Babu Lal Hussain Road. The injured baby was brought to Holy Family Hospital where his condition was unstable, a source informed.
In yet another unfortunate incident, a 28-year-old man received severe electric shock while flying kite at the rooftop of his house after metal twine touched a high voltage power line at Mohan Pura, the limits of PS Ganjmandi. The victim was immediately was shifted to DHQ Emergency Department, where he is identified as Umair son of Shafique. The condition of the victim is critical, informed a hospital sources.
On the other hand, fear and panic caused by intense aerial firing gripped several localities of the city. Besides firing, music in loud volume disturbed the citizens a lot. Tens of hundreds of phone calls were made to Rescue 15 aiming to stop this death game but to no avail.
An official of Rescue 15 told this scribe that department received thousands of complaints regarding aerial firing and music and noise from the areas of PS Race Course and RA Bazaar particularly and from PS Saddar Bairooni and others generally. According to police spokesman, police during raids against kite flyers and other violators nabbed 40 people from different localities of the city and registered 15 cases.