Despite being completely banned, Basant festival still unofficially took place in Rawalpindi today. Earlier last week, the Rawalpindi Kite Flying Association (RKFA) had given two different dates for celebrating Basant.
According to RKFA, 23rd February was the officially decided date when the residents of Dhamyal, Tench, Bakramandi, Asghar Mall, Lalkurti, Bagh Sardaran, Scheme-III, Jhanda and other parts of the city would celebrate Basant.
When the Police heard about the unofficial Basant festival, it raided different parts of the city and arrested 11 kite lovers from the city and sealed away kite shops along with 9,200 kites and 3,400 roles of metal and glass coated strings.
But that didn’t stop the people from celebrating Basant as seen from pictures below.
The festival kicked off last night and people flew kites in the dark skies with the help of artificial lights. The festival continued throughout the day today with the skies filled with colorful kites.
Ban on Basant continues
The police and authorities continue to enforce the law against kite flyers. They are also actively running awareness campaigns in Rawalpindi, especially in educational institutes to discourage kite flying.
Even though flying kites is a fun activity widely loved by Pakistan, it is also the reason for many lives lost in the past for which it has been banned in Pakistan. The activity has caused several injuries and deaths with people falling off roofs trying to chase kites, throats being cut with chemical-induced strings and road accidents.