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Minors out of dahi handi

Boys form a pyramid during a dahi handi celebration in Mumbai. File picture

Mumbai, Aug. 11: Bombay High Court today banned use of minors in human pyramids for dahi handi celebrations, two days after a 14-year-old boy died of injuries suffered in a fall while rehearsing for the event, part of the Janmashtami festival.

The division bench of Justices V.M. Kanade and P.D. Kode asked the Maharashtra government to issue a circular by tomorrow banning participation of children below 18.

The bench also restricted the height of human pyramids to 20ft.

“We appeal to dahi handi organisers to take into consideration the health and safety of the Govindas rather than going after the money offered to the winners,” the bench said.

The directive came on public interest petitions to regulate the celebrations to ensure the safety of “Govindas”, who make up the human pyramids to reach a buttermilk-filled earthen pot, re-enacting the legend of the child Krishna stealing butter.

The court directed the organisers to provide helmets and safety belts to the Govindas and layers of cushions so that a fall does not lead to serious injuries.