Kolkata: Straight after the high court cancelled unusual restrictions imposed in West Bengal on Puja processions, the Mamata Banerjee government has decided that people will need to have police permission for immersion of Durga idols on Muharram, the Muslim day of mourning.
“Depending on circumstances and situation, wherever found fit permission will be granted and wherever there are problems permission will not be granted,” pointed out state’s Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya.
Earlier on in the piece, Mamata Banerjee had controversially banned puja processions for immersion of Durga idols on October 1, reportedly on advice of the police. According to this order, immersions wouldn’t be allowed on 30 September after 10 pm and 1st October. The Chief Minister did not want any situation to arise that leads to a communal clash, angering many Hindu groups.
“Slit my throat but no one tells me what to do,” Ms Banerjee retorted, asserting that she would do “what I can to keep the peace”.
Kolkata Police Commissioner Rajeev Kumar said they hadn’t received any request for immersion of idols on Ekadashi, 1 October. When someone does, he said, “standard procedures will be followed”.
“I think every resident of West Bengal should cooperate in such a manner that both the communities may celebrate their festivals in their own way peacefully in a cooperative spirit. There is no question of any tension and conflict between the two communities,” Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi later told reporters.