Kathmandu, October 12
The Ministry of Home Affairs has appealed to Tihar revellers to conclude all cultural programmes, including deusi-bhailo, by 10:00pm.
A press release issued by the MoHA informed that it set the time-frame for deusi-bhailo only till 10:00pm to ‘prevent any criminal activity’ likely to be triggered by late night cultural programmes.
“The government would like to appeal to everyone to conclude their cultural shows, including deusi-bhailo, by 10:00 pm to help maintain law and order during the festival as persons involved in malicious activities might disturb the peace and security in the name of such programmes.”
Deusi-Bhailo is a traditional programme organised during Tihar festival. People in groups visit homes and sing and dance, seeking dakshina as part of this tradition. Last year too, people were allowed to organise deusi-bhailo programmes till 10:00 pm.
The ministry has also warned against producing, possessing, importing, exporting, selling and bursting firecrackers in the name of celebrating festivals like Tihar and Chhath as the smoke emanating from such items could pose a threat to public health besides causing injury and fire.
“Any one acting in contravention of the existing laws will be brought to book,” said the release. According to health experts, firecrackers emit gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide and can cause severe health hazards.
Meanwhile, Police have stepped up security to ensure that illegal and dangerous fireworks are not used in the Kathmandu Valley during Tihar.
More than 5,500 police personnel, both in uniform and plain clothes, have been deployed to prevent any untoward incident and give people a sense of security in Kathmandu Valley as part of festival security plan.
“Security personnel have been keeping vigil on the outskirts of the Valley, mainly at major entry points, to curb illegal imports of explosive materials and firecrackers in the run-up to Tihar,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Rabindra Bahadur Dhanuk, in-charge at Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu.
All vehicles passing through entry points are subject to security check. Firecrackers are extensively used during Tihar, the festival of lights.
A version of this article appears in print on October 13, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.