Delhi Police has arrested at least 26 persons and seized 4,000 kg firecrackers this month before Diwali, Delhi police said.
Despite the strict ban on all types of firecrackers in the city, the police said, some vendors and sellers have been caught with hundreds of units or packets of illegal firecrackers.
While most of the manufacturing and storage units in Delhi have been shut, the violators bought firecrackers in huge quantities from Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, said police.
Earlier this month, the police issued an order stating that they would not give temporary licenses and will cancel permanent licenses of vendors who sell or store firecrackers in the capital.
DCP Rohini Pranav Tayal said, “Our team has been on the lookout for violators and arrested accused in three cases where they were found selling firecrackers in Delhi.,” He further added that police are also taking action against shopkeepers who violate license norms despite a blanket ban on the sale of crackers.
To combat air pollution in the national capital, the licensing unit of Delhi Police said they are complying with the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) order. On September 28, DPCC imposed a complete ban on the sale and bursting of firecrackers in Delhi till January next year. The order was issued to prevent the Covid-19 surge in the city and air pollution.
Rohini region police team seized 1,174-kg firecrackers and the Delhi Police teams are also taking action against shopkeepers who violate license norms. Meanwhile, from Central Delhi (Chandni Chowk, Paharganj, Karol Bagh) region 286-kg firecrackers were seized by the police.
One of the accused is an employee at a five-star hotel in New Delhi and was caught with 90 kg firecrackers. The accused bought the item from Faridabad and was planning to sell it in Delhi’s Jama Masjid area for “higher rates” to earn quick money.
In North Delhi, the police said they have arrested vendors who rented godowns in areas like Sadar Bazaar to sell firecrackers. The district team has seized 500 kg firecrackers in the last two weeks. Senior officers said the firecrackers were brought from UP.
Usha Rangnani, DCP (Northwest district) said her team arrested two persons in the last two weeks and seized more than 300kg of firecrackers from Mahindra Park and Subhash Place.
A Delhi Police spokesperson said they have registered over 23 cases and seized over 3,588 kg of firecrackers from around 8-10 districts.
“Our district team under close supervision of DCPs are involved in patrolling and checking in high-footfall and market areas before Diwali. We are making sure to adhere to DPCC’s guidelines and stop manufacturing, storage and selling of firecrackers. We are planning to beef up security near borders to avoid more violations and arrest vendors who are bringing the firecrackers from different states,” said an officer.
In North Delhi, the police said they have arrested vendors who rented godowns in Sadar Bazaar and other districts to sell firecrackers. The district team seized 1,543 kg firecrackers in the last two weeks. Senior officers said the firecrackers were bought from Hathras and Meerut in UP.