There are a lot of reasons one can be arrested this Diwali, as a man from Delhi’s Wazirpur learned the hard way this weekend. Damandeep Gupta was arrested on a neighbour’s complaint for bursting firecrackers, a Diwali fixture that has divided Delhi in light of last month’s Supreme Court ban.
On account of Delhi-NCR’s appalling pollution situation, the Supreme Court, on 23 October, imposed heavy restrictions on the use of firecrackers in the region: Only “green” firecrackers can be burst; they should be burst in designated areas in community events; and they should be burst on festival days between 8 pm and 10 pm.
Flouting these rules could land one in jail for up to a month, with the stakes much higher for unlicensed sellers.
“Different types of offences will invite different charges,” said deputy commissioner of police (east Delhi) Nupur Prasad. “Broadly, the two categories are selling and bursting of firecrackers. Under selling, charges are different for licensed shopkeepers and unlicensed ones.”
For those of you looking to brighten your Diwali with some fireworks, there are two ways you can fall foul of the Supreme Court order.