Kathmandu, March 1
Police arrested 167 persons from across Kathmandu Valley for allegedly misbehaving with strangers and passers-by on the pretext of Holi festival today.
Similarly, 523 motorcyclists faced action for violating traffic rules and driving under the influence. According to police, those arrested for playing Holi in an indecent manner will be charged under Public Crime and Punishment Act, 1970 upon necessary screening and profiling of the suspects.
The offenders, who hurled water-filled balloons and smeared colours on the faces of other people against their will, may face a fine of up to Rs 10‚000 or 35 days detention or both as per the existing law. The law strictly forbids misconduct with the intention of harassing or causing trouble to another person.
Earlier, district administration offices and police had appealed to all to celebrate Holi in a decent and peaceful manner. Police had taken special measures to prevent hooliganism during the festival. Police in civvies fanned out across the Valley to keep a tight vigil at marketplaces and busy thoroughfares.
The Metropolitan Traffic Police Division together with metropolitan police ranges of Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur had made elaborate arrangements to rein in unruly festive revellers, stunt bikers and drunk drivers during the festival.
Traffic cops armed with radar guns and breathalysers were deployed to catch drivers and riders for speeding and drink driving. Special teams and interceptors were also mobilised at major intersections to detect and prosecute violators. Police have warned that there will be zero tolerance towards violation of traffic rules.
Meanwhile, Holi, the festival of colours, was celebrated by exchanging wishes and smearing colourful powders and throwing colours and water-filled balloons at each other. The festival will be celebrated in the Tarai region tomorrow.
The festival revolves around the mythology of the demon king Hiranya Kashyapu ordering his sister Holika to enter into a fire
along with Pralhad, son of the demon king and a devout follower of Lord Bishnu, in her lap so that Pralhad would stop chanting the name of the lord.
The catch was that Holika wouldn’t burn in the fire because of a boon she had received from god. But it so happened that the fire burnt Holika whereas Pralhad remained unharmed and came out of the fire still chanting the name of god. Therefore, the festival has been linked to this legend and is celebrated by smearing colour in enjoyment.
A version of this article appears in print on March 02, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.