The people Mizoram on Wednesday joined the world to welcome and celebrate the New Year day with firecrackers, defying the government order.
The Mizoram government on October 28 announced a complete ban on the sale, burning, and import of firecrackers into the state on the occasion of Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The ban extended to not just firecrackers, but similar products such as toy guns which produce minimal gunpowder emissions have also been banned in the state.
However, the denizens of the state could not give up the age-old practice of welcoming a New Year with a crash-boom-bang celebration.
When only a few minutes were left to ring the New Year in, fireworks lit up the sky in Aizawl making spectacular scenery.
For about two hours, the sound of firecrackers and crackling rockets filled the air to celebrate the onset of the new decade.
“Bursting firecrackers and a spectacular display of fireworks is a significant way of bidding farewell to the year and welcoming and celebrating the new one, which more or less is a custom deeply rooted in the Mizo society,” John Renthlei, a local resident, said.
He said the act was not a deliberate attempt to defy the government order.
“I hope the government will understand the sentiments and moods of the people,” he added.
Opinions differed on the use of fireworks. While some argued environmental and health concerns, others said it is a universal practice to light up the moods.
Sources said bursting of firecrackers, crackling rockets and display of lights were also witnessed in other towns across the state on Wednesday night despite the ban.
Speaking to Northeast Now, Aizawl superintendent of police C. Lalruaia said no untoward incidents took place during the celebration except a forest fire at Durtlang area caused by sky lanterns.
He said at least five people have been arrested for allegedly selling firecrackers and other explosive materials on Wednesday night.
Police sources said at least 23 people from Assam were arrested on Wednesday night for not possessing valid Inner Line Permit (ILP).
Meanwhile, deputy inspector general of police (Northern Range) Lalbiakthanga Khiangte said the government has tightened security across the state.
He said the state police are keeping round the clock vigil by conducting patrolling across the state.
The New Year was celebrated across the state on Wednesday with religious fervour as well.
All the churches held service and prayers to give thanks to God for the New Year.
Community feasts were also organised by some churches to welcome and celebrate the New Year.
The New Year celebration will continue on Thursday during which most of the churches will organise community feasts besides church service and congregation.