Dahi Handi: MNS workers defy ban to celebrate festival
Thane, Aug 31: Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) workers celebrated the traditional 'Dahi Handi' festival in Thane and neighbouring Palghar district, even though the celebrations have been banned in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, a PTI report said.
The popular festival organised during 'Gokulashtami', which attracts a lot of crowds, is being observed on Tuesday.
Around Monday midnight, a large number of MNS activists, including women, gathered at Naupada in Thane city and hung a 'dahi handi' (an earthen pot filled with curd) at a height in the area.
They formed a pyramid and a woman activist climbed atop and broke the curd pot.
The city police later took five party activists into custody for defying the prohibitory orders, an official said.
The MNS activists also had an argument with the police when they tried to stop them.
MNS Thane-Palghar unit chief Avinash Jadhav, who was arrested earlier in the day for holding a protest over their demand for allowing Dahi Handi celebrations and later released, was present during the event held late at night.
A number of party activists also organised similar celebrations in Thane's Vartak Nagar and in Nalla Sopara area of adjoining Palghar district late Monday night.
Talking to reporters, Jadhav claimed the Shiv Sena came to power by bagging Hindu votes, but had betrayed the community by prohibiting its functions.
He said they would celebrate the festival, irrespective of the ban.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray last week told organisers of the Dahi Handi festival that the state should set an example by setting aside celebration of festivals for some time to get rid of the coronavirus completely.
He had said the health of citizens should be given priority during a pandemic.