Both jabs must for attending pushpanjali, sindoor khela: HC

Both jabs must for attending pushpanjali, sindoor khela: HC

KOLKATA: The Calcutta High Court on Thursday issued new guidelines with some relaxations for the Durga Puja celebrations this year. The court allowed fully vaccinated individuals to offer 'pushpanjali' and take part in 'sindoor khela'.

A Division Bench, comprising Justices I P Mukerji and Aniruddha Roy, during the hearing of a PIL filed by Howrah resident Ajay Kumar Dey requesting the court to impose last year's restrictions during the Durga Puja to contain the spread of Coronavirus, said: "Subject to the maximum number of persons which is allowed inside a Puja pandal and compliance with the other conditions like double vaccination and wearing of masks, all activities and Puja rituals like pushpanjali, arati, sindoor khela etc are permitted inside the pandal."

The court further said this entry requirement compliance shall be checked by the Puja organisers at the entrance. Spot verification is to be made by the police. If any Puja organisation is found flouting norms, the Puja and all other activities in the pandal may be cancelled by the police.

Only Puja organisers can enter the pandal. The big pandals can accommodate 45-60 people and the smaller ones can have a maximum of 15.

Barricades have to be placed five metres before the entrance for small pandals while for the bigger ones, the distance has to be 10 metres. The distance will have to be measured from the place where the boundary of the Durga Puja pandal ends.

The court's direction will be applicable for all 34,000 mandaps in the state. There should be no entry boards at the barricades. The court had also directed organisers to distribute masks and sanitisers to the visitors and engage in awareness campaigns.

Advocate General S N Mookherjee informed the court that the Bengal government had no objection to the court's order banning visitors. The state government released its own set of guidelines, banning cultural events at or near Puja pandals.

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