Animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), India today said it will honour Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry for banning the use of kite manja (sharp string) in Punjab province of the neighboring country.
"Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammed Chaudhry is being sent an award by PETA India for banning cruel manja in the Punjab province of Pakistan," said PETA India Manager (media and celebrity projects) Sachin Bangera.
"PETA India has been working towards banning the use of metal and glass-coated manja across India. Now, PETA India is recognizing Chaudhry's landmark decision by honoring him with PETA's 'Hero to Animals Award'," Bangera said.
"In reaching his decision, Chaudhry cited the Pakistani constitution, which guarantees protection to life and property, and manja was taking away that right. Although glass-coated kite string is banned in parts of India, such as Mumbai and Gujarat, it is sold and used widely including in places in which it is banned," Bangera said.
The manja used in kite-flying competitions is gummed and coated with powdered and finely crushed or metal glass. This makes it deadly for thousands of pigeons, crows, owls, kites and other birds who get slashed, wounded or killed when they become entangled in the manja, Bangera added.
"Manja also affects human beings. In one incident in Mumbai, stray manja nearly cut a child's throat, and a Borivali resident was hospitalised after his neck was slashed by manja while he was riding a scooter. In Shirdi, Ahmednagar, a teacher died after his throat was cut by manja. And three people in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, were decapitated by manja during one Makar Sankranthi," Bangera said.
During Makar Sankranthi in Hyderabad in 2011, 23 pigeons were killed by manja and as many as 167 injured birds were rescued by animal welfare activist, he added.