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Punjab govt decides not to celebrate Basant festival

Punjab govt decides not to celebrate Basant festival
January 23, 2019
LAHORE (92 News) – The Punjab government has decided not to celebrate Basant festival across Punjab on Wednesday. The detailed reply related to this decision will be submitted in the Lahore High Court on Thursday. Punjab senior minister Aleem Khan termed the decision in the interest of the people. The minister also hinted at preparations regarding precautionary measures in the future. He said Basant festivals can only be celebrated if relevant departments fulfill their responsibilities. He said strict action should be taken against use of metal string and violation of law. Aleem Khan said four to six months are required to take preventive steps to ensure celebration of Basant in a peaceful manner. The festival can be celebrated in future if the concerned departments play their active role. He also said stern action would be taken against those whoever will be found in using the chemical string. Last week, the LHC had directed the Punjab government to submit its reply on petitions challenging its plan to celebrate Basant festival in the province latest by January 24. Earlier, the Punjab government had announced to lift a ban on Basant festivity and said that the festival will be held in February. Subsequently, a number of citizens took the government to the LHC against its decision to lift the ban, pleading that any festivity at the expense of human lives should not be allowed. They requested the court to strike down the government’s decision to hold the festival in the province. Basant festival was banned across the province after throats of several motorcyclists and others were cut with kite flyers’ sharp glass and chemical coated strings. In 2005, the Supreme Court had also banned the festival over deaths caused by the use of sharp and glass coated strings. Several petitions challenging the ban were dismissed by the court.