Many Kolkatans across the city complained of a noisy Diwali this year but cops said they received fewer complaints about violation of firecracker rule compared with last year.
Several residents in the city said they heard sound of rampant bursting of crackers but refrained from approaching the police because on earlier occasions, their complaints were mostly ignored.
Some policemen The Telegraph spoke to said they faced resistance while trying to stop people from bursting banned firecrackers. A senior officer at Lalbazar said 480 people were arrested for bursting banned crackers this year, compared with 720 last year.
A resident of Anandapur who owns two pets said she had been complaining to the police over the phone and writing on Facebook on the Diwali noise menace over the years. “My pets had not eaten for three days because of the sound of loud crackers. This time, I did not call the police or write on Facebook because such efforts are useless,” she said.
Another Kolkatan, who lives on CIT Road, said he decided not lodge a complaint about the noise rule violation on Diwali because just a few weeks ago, the police had failed to stop the violation of the loudspeaker rule at a religious function despite being alerted by him. “I think there is no point complaining to the police. It is of no use,” he said.
A resident of Kasba said: “I saw from my window that all the people who were bursting firecrackers on the road were known to me. So I did not lodge a police complaint.”
Anasua Sen, a resident of Bansdroni, complained that her 80-year-old mother could not sleep on Diwali night because of rampant bursting of banned firecrackers.
A resident of central Kolkata shared his Diwali experience: “Ear-shattering sounds, unbearable to most humans, seem to give some law-breaking people a high, and the law keepers are too timid to do anything about it. It will keep happening over the weekend with Chhath Puja coming up.”
The police, however, said the number of violations was far less than last year. “We received fewer complaints than last year. We tried to rush to the places from where we heard sounds of crackers going off, but in most places we found that the crackers had been hidden by the time we reached,” said an officer of the south-suburban division. An officer in Behala said a police team went to highrise buildings where banned crackers were being burst.
“They found that the packets containing crackers had a QR code. After scanning the code, a certificate was generated stating that those were green crackers,” the officer said. Another officer, posted in the eastern suburban division, said a police team could not enter a high-rise building where firecrackers were being burst. “It was apparent the guard had been instructed not to open the gate,” the officer said.