The city police on Monday took suo motu cognizance of a mini-stampede at a marquee that boasted of the “world’s tallest idol of Goddess Durga” and filed a case against the Deshapriya Park puja organisers on charge of violating rules and regulations.
We have filed a first information report against the puja committee for violating Calcutta High Court norms. The height of the pandal here is well above the stipulated 40 feet set by the court,” a senior city police officer said. For the first time in history of Durga puja, the city police have “permanently” stopped the entry of people inside Deshapriya Park in view of the massive rush almost leading to a stampede-like situation on Sunday.
Stressing that the decision to bar entrance of people into Deshapriya Park was entirely because of security reasons, Kolkata Police Commissioner Surajit Kar Purokayasta said, “Safety and security of the people are our prime concern. We cannot compromise with that so we have taken such a step.
We have permanently stopped entry of common people inside Deshapriya Park. The puja will not be opened again this year,” Purokayasta said. Late on Sunday night he claimed that the organisers had not secured necessary permissions.
On the removal of the cover put on the idol, equal to the height of an eight-storey building, Purokayasta said, “To cover up the idol was the decision of the organisers and they removed it. We have not asked them to do so.”
Asked whether, with the covers removed, Kolkata Police would divert or regulate traffic from the surrounding roads to allow people to have a glimpse of the idol, Purokayasta said, “There will not be any traffic regulation there because a view curtain has been put up around the park so that the idol cannot be viewed from outside.”
In fact, hoardings and advertisements on the biggest Durga idol have been asked to be removed by Kolkata Police, a source in the police force said. Television channels, radio also have been instructed not to broadcast any item related to the Deshapriya Park puja, the source said. Following the massive rush, Purokayasta along with senior officers of Kolkata Police visited the venue to take a stock of the situation on Sunday. The idol, made of cement and fibre glass, has been placed outside the pandal under an open sky due to its massive size.
The organisers even wrote to the Guinness World Records, requesting it to recognise the statue as the world’s tallest Durga idol (between 80-100 feet).