DELHI , India, Aug. 17 (UPI) — India’s Delhi government banned use of glass-coated kite strings after the throats of three people, including two children, were accidentally cut.
The deaths came Monday, India’s Independence Day. A motorcyclist, 22, died of injuries after his neck was entangled in a “maanjha,” a sharp kite string of Chinese origin. In two separate incidents, children looking through the sunroofs of cars in which they were traveling had their throats cut by the strings.
The sharpened kite strings are meant to bring down other kites in competitive kite-flying but can injure people and animals. A Delhi police officer was also injured Monday by a sharpened string.
The animal rights group PETA filed a petition with a government agency last week, calling for a ban on the string and citing injuries to birds and other animals. More than 500 injured birds have been treated in the past three days at a Delhi animal hospital.
The pastime of kite-flying is popular on holidays in India.
Authorities said the sale, production and storage of the specialized string, infused with powdered glass or metal, will be banned in the Delhi area, with a $1,495 fine and a possible jail sentence of up to five years for convicted violators.