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Punjab government decides not to celebrate Basant festival

LAHORE: Calling it in the interest of the people, the Punjab government has decided not to allow celebration of Basant festival across the province, ARY News reported on Wednesday.

According to sources, the decision was taken in a meeting chaired by Punjab’s Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan and a detail reply of the government will be submitted in the Lahore High Court tomorrow.

Reportedly, the minister 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.

Mr Aleem said stern action will be taken against those whoever will be found in using the chemical string.

Read more: Will accept whatever court’s ruling will be about Basant: Fayaz Chohan

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.

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