3 People Die in India As Kite Strings Slit Their Throats

Indian residents fly kites during celebrations for the Lohri festival in Amritsar on January 13, 2016. The Lohri harvest festival, which falls on January 13 this year, commemorates the winter solstice and is marked in northern India by the lighting of bonfires and the flying and battling of kites. AFP PHOTO / NARINDER NANU / AFP / NARINDER NANU        (Photo credit should read NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — A national pastime turned deadly in India after three people had their throats slit by glass-covered kite strings; the freak accidents happened during Independence Day celebrations in New Delhi.

Two children, ages 4 and 6, died in separate incidents August 15 after looking out the sun roofs of their cars and becoming entangled in the razor-sharp strings, which are used to cut down competitors’ kites, according to muscatdaily.com. A 22-year-old man died the same way while riding his motorcycle.

A policeman and a 5-year-old child were injured in other incidents involving the glass-covered strings, known in India as manjha.

No arrests have been made, but the Indian government says anyone caught with the strings faces five years in jail and a 100,000 rupee ($1,500) fine.

India’s flying of kites on Independence Day symbolizes and celebrates the country’s freedom from British rule.