Rawalpindi - The killer chemical coated metal twine claimed lives of two men while injured several others in different areas, as Pindities celebrated Basant despite strict ban on kite flying, sources informed The Nation on Friday.

The dead and the injured were moved to hospitals by Rescue 1122 and other people, sources said.

According to sources, Safdar Hussain was going on motorcycle at 6th Road Flyover on Murree Road when stray twine fell on him cutting his throat critically. They said the man expired on the spot and Rescue 1122 shifted his dead body to DHQ Hospital for post-mortem.

In another incident a 17-year-old boy Usman was killed after the metal twine he was flying kite with touched a high voltage wire at Misrial. In another incident, a 28-year-old man namely Abdullah along with a girl Mehwish was going Saddar from Committee Chowk on motorcycle when the both fell prey to stray twine. The man sustained injuries on nose while the girl received deep cut on her arm, they said. The victims were rushed to DHQ by Rescue 1122 for cure. Similarly, the twine fell on feet of a man injuring him critically at Dhoke Peeran Faqeeran at Tipu Road and the victim was shifted to BBH, he further said.

Despite strict ban on kite flying, the residents of Rawalpindi on Friday celebrated Basant with intense aerial firing while putting police on toes all the day.

Dozens of people (most of them are motorcyclists) and children sustained injuries from metal or chemical coated twines and were taken to the hospitals for medical treatment by the Rescue 1122 or their relatives, sources disclosed to The Nation.

However, the duty medical superintendants sitting in emergency departments of all the three teaching hospitals i.e. District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital, Benazir Bhutto Hospital (BBH) and Holy Family Hospital (HFH) remained busy in hiding the strengths of Basant victims from media apparently on pressure of government.

According to sources, the residents of Rawalpindi celebrated Basant with impunity violating the ban on kite flying imposed by the government. The sky was filled with colourful kites while gunshots could be heard everywhere. Even the kite flyers resorted to aerial firing in Cannt and garrison that are considered being sensitive areas besides near Benazir Bhutto Islamabad International Airport and other military installations.

Sources said that a 28-year-old man namely Abdullah was going to Saddar from Committee Chowk when stray twine fell on him cutting his nose badly.

The victim was rushed to DHQ by Rescue 1122 for treatment. The doctors provided him medical treatment and discharged later. Similarly, five other persons were also brought in emergency department of DHQ who either fell from the rooftop or received cuts from metal twine. Two children also sustained injuries when they fell while running behind stray kites and were brought to hospital for medical treatment, a Rescue 1122 spokesperson told media.

Similarly, a large numbers of victims including children were also brought to the emergency departments of BBH and HFH with deep cuts on throats and in hands caused by metal twine, source said. Interestingly, the DMSs denied that they had received any single kite flying victim.

The areas where people floated ban into air by flying kites with metal twines included Banni, Sadiqabad, Waris Khan, Committee Chowk, Glass Factory, Dhoke Elahi Bux, Kohati Bazaar, Raja Bazaar, Bhabra Bazaar, Purana Qila, Ganjmandi, Gawalmandi, Saddar, Kashmir Road, Mohan Pura, City Saddar Road, Arya Mohala, Commercial Market, 6th Road, 7th Road, Dhoke Khabba, Amar Pura, Chah Sultan, Shakrial, Kuri Road, Muslim Town, Trolley Adda, Khana, Dhoke Kala Khan, Double Road, Faizabad, IJ Principal Road, Pirwadhai, Fauji Colony, Dhoke Mangtal, Dhoke Ratta, Railway Carriage Factory, Habib Colony, Westridge, Naseerabad, Misrial Road, Chakra, Peshawar Road, Adiala Road, Morgah, Tulsa, Dheri Hassanabad, Lalazar and many other areas.

“It has become difficult to go out of house as stray string can cause cut on throats,” said Muhammad Aslam, a government servant, who uses motorcycle to go office.  He said the government should impose complete ban on kite and twine manufacturing factories.

Despite police raids and arrests, Khalid Khan of Mohan Pura said, the people are buying kites and chemical twines openly from shops. He said that his family are disturbed owing to sound of gunshots fired by kite flyers in his area.

As many as 200 kite flyers and sellers have been arrested from the city during crackdown, City Police Officer (CPO) Israr Ahmed Khan Abbasi informed The Nation. He said police parties continued crackdown against the kite sellers and the flyers across the city.

In Sadiqabad, the situation is worst as people are violating ban on kite flying, said SHO PS Sadiqabad Yasir Rabbani. He said five kite flyers have been arrested so far. DSP Civil Line Circle Farhan Aslam said police held six kite sellers and flyers from airport areas and registered cases against them.