Fahad al Ghadani –
Muscat, June 17 –
With Eid Al Fitr approaching, authorities and community members have renewed calls against using fireworks during the celebrations.
The Royal Oman Police (ROP) has been warning the people about the risks that firecrackers pose.
The issue has been raised in social media by individuals and widely discussed. “It should start from homes. Parents should monitor their children and warn them against approaching illegal firecracker vendors,” said Abdulaziz al Raisi, a teacher based in Muscat. He said that previous incidents show how dangerous firecrackers are. “Parents should warn children against going close to those smuggling, selling or bursting firecrackers,” said Al Raisi.
Just before Eid and the holidays, ROP intensifies checks for firecrackers at the borders. Article 29 of the Weapons and Ammunition Law says a licensee of weapons or ammunition, whether imported, exported, traded, or repaired, should not use the same at places inhabited or intended for inhabitation.
Article 25 of this law says any person who shoots or ignites fireworks in a neighbourhood or public road without a licence from the police will be punished and fined not more than RO 200. “Children would like to express their joy through the use of prohibited materials such as firecrackers,” said an official said. “Such materials are deadly and may cause severe damage.”
The ROP has asked parents to keep an eye on their children and prohibit them from lighting firecrackers. The police have sought people’s cooperation in preventing tragic incidents. The police will deal firmly against those bursting/ promoting firecrackers or those trying to smuggle firecrackers into the country.
Violators may be fined up to RO 300 or jailed for three months. “Those caught smuggling or using firecrackers will not be released even on bail. They will remain in detention until they are tried,” said the official.
Possession of fireworks or attempt to smuggle fireworks is punishable by imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years and a fine not exceeding RO 3,000.
“The practice of bursting firecrackers is prevalent despite awareness campaigns. People still burst firecrackers during holidays and special occasions, which is hazardous to life and property and a nuisance to others,” an ROP official added.