The police in the city of Surat in Gujarat have issued a notification temporarily banning birthday celebrations in public, claiming that many people have complained about strangers harassing them and smearing them with cakes.

Assistant Commissioner of Police PL Chaudhary issued the circular on May 13 under Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. The order will be in force from May 14 to July 12. The notification said people who violate the order would be punished under provisions of Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant).

“We received information about incidents in which individuals suffered injuries in a birthday celebration,” Police Commissioner Satish Sharma told The Times of India. “On Dumas Road and some bridges, such incidents were reported. Considering this, the order has been issued.”

The order was issued to prevent the harassment of people through the “forcible application of cake, cellotape, chemical, foam, on them” and to prevent the destruction of public property, the police notification added.

The city’s residents had reportedly raised the matter on social media, alleging that school and college students were vandalising public property and disturbing people in the name of celebrating birthdays. “We have been notified that in the name of celebration, they forcibly put cellotape, chemicals or foam on each other’s bodies or on other people and even beat people up,” the police said. “Such violent and cruel celebration could cause a person’s death.”

Chaudhary said his department had received complaints on social media about a boy being beaten up and, in another instance, a boy sticking tape on a person. “All [this is] happening in public, other people have been complaining for a while,” Chaudhary said. “So we decided to take action.”

In March, Rajkot police arrested at least 10 people for playing mobile game PUBG, which has been banned in several districts of the state.