Nepal | November 26, 2020

Police units directed to prohibit Deusi-Bhailo

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Nepal Police headquarters has directed all police units to prohibit Deusi-Bhailo programmes in their respective areas during the Tihar festival.

Inspector General of Police Shailesh Thapa Kshetri had instructed all the units to impose ban on cultural programmes such as Deusi-Bhailo, citing the spike in COVID-19 cases throughout the country. In a recent virtual meeting held with police chiefs of all seven provinces, IGP Kshetri had warned that allowing such mass programmes could worsen the pandemic.

Adhering to the instruction from the higher-up authority, all 77 district police offices have been working in coordination with concerned district administration offices to raise awareness against the pandemic and appeal to shun Deusi-Bhailo programmes.

The cops have been using loud speakers for dissemination of information regarding the ban on Deusi-Bhailo.

Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur district administrations have also issued public notices separately on prohibition on Deusi-Bhailo.

In previous years, the authorities used to appeal to Tihar revellers to conclude all cultural programmes, including Deusi-Bhailo, by 10:00pm.

Deusi-Bhailo is a traditional programme organised during the Tihar festival. People in groups visit homes and sing and dance, seeking dakshina as part of this tradition. DAOs have warned against producing, possessing, importing, exporting, selling and bursting firecrackers in the name of celebrating the festival as the smoke emanating from such items could pose threat to public health besides causing injury and fire.

Police have stepped up security to ensure that illegal and dangerous fireworks are not used.

A version of this article appears in print on November 11, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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