No idol immersion without police permission: State Govt
Kolkata: Durga Puja organisers will need police permission to immerse idols on Muharram that might be denied on law and order grounds, the Bengal government announced on Friday.
This comes after the state government has decided not to appeal before the Supreme Court against the Calcutta High Court's order allowing immersion of Durga idols on all days from Dashami on September 30, including Muharram, the day after.
Stating that the Calcutta High Court's order was in favour of the Bengal government, Trinamool Congress MP and lawyer Kalyan Banerjee said in Delhi that it has been categorically mentioned in the court's order that the immersion will be allowed if the situation is "found permissible" and it is on the state government to decide whether the situation in permissible for immersion on the day of Muharram.
Meanwhile, in a bid to ensure a trouble-free immersion, a high-level meeting was held at Nabanna Sabhaghar on Friday. The meeting that was convened following Thursday's High Court order was headed by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, MP Abhishek Banerjee, along with other senior MPs, MLAs including Firhad Hakim and top brass of the state administration and police were present in the meeting.
Later in the day, Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya said at Nabanna: "Depending upon the circumstances and situation wherever found fit, permission will be granted and wherever there are problems, permission will not be granted."
When asked about the state government's plan of action to ensure peaceful immersion process of the idols, Bhattacharya said: "None of the three almanacs mention immersion on Ekadashi (October 1). In its order the court has also said immersion can be done on October 1 'wherever permissible'," said Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya.
Surajit Kar Purakayastha, Director General of Police, said in this connection: "The police will evaluate the safety aspects involved with the procession and immersion and take a final call on whether to accept or reject the application," Purakayastha added. The police report to Mamata Banerjee, who also holds the home portfolio.
Sources said that all MPs and MLAs have been asked to be present in their respective areas and to maintain an "excellent" co-ordination with the grassroot level in their areas so that they can take necessary precautionary measures to avoid any sort of untoward incident.
It may be mentioned that Durga Puja organisers have already mentioned dates of immersion of Durga idols of their respective Puja mandaps while applying for necessary clearances from the police.