'Let peace & harmony prevail in Bengal...'
Kolkata: With Durga Puja passing off peacefully maintaining Covid protocols, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee prayed to Goddesses Durga on the day of Dashami to ensure that Bengal's tradition of "harmony" remains unaffected.
In a tweet on Friday, the Chief Minister stated: "Maa Durga you come back again the next year with lights of hope. Let peace, harmony and unity prevail in Bengal. Everyone is bidding adieu to the Goddesses with a heavy heart. With the blessings of Maa Bhubanamohini, let the harmony continue to prevail in Bengal. My love, respect and gratitude to all. Subho Bijaya Dashami".
On Saturday, pandal hopping at Puja mandaps including that of Chetla Agrani and Suruchi Sangha was continuing with people rejoicing the state's biggest festival till the last moment.
While on the other hand immersion of the idols of Goddess Durga and her entourage is continuing in full swing at important ghats of river Hooghly including Baje Kadamtala Ghat, Babu Ghat, Ratan Babu Ghat, Nimtala Ghat, Gwalior Ghat and Bichhali Ghat. Similarly, immersion of the idols is taking place all across the state.
The police are ensuring proper crowd management and maintenance of Covid protocols at the Puja pandals besides taking all measures for the safety of people visiting the ghats of river Hooghly for "niranjan".(immersion).
Immersion started from Friday and it will continue till October 18. Idols of the "big pujas" will go for immersion on Sunday.
Immersions of the idols of a total 2,772 Puja organizers have taken place in Kolkata on Friday. It includes mainly the idols of Bonedi Barir Pujas and some community Pujas. Being Saturday, there was a comparatively lesser number of immersions today. There were only 107 immersions that took place on Saturday till the report last came in.
There was a record turnout of pandal hoppers to get a glimpse of the Puja pandal themed as 'Burj Khalifa' of Sreebhumi Sporting Club at Lake Town, however, firstly, the huge lighting arrangement at the pandal was put off as it came up as a cause of distraction for flight operation at the Kolkata Airport and secondly as the crowd went on increasing despite all efforts—the top brass at the state secretariat held a meeting in this regard— besides, the commissioner of Bidhannagar police Supratim Sarkar also held a meeting with Puja organizers— including with state Fire minister, who is a key member—and decided not to allow people to visit the pandal from Navami. ADG (CID) Gyanwant Singh, who is also Additional Director of Security, visited the Puja pandal.
Meanwhile, 92 people were arrested for committing different crimes and 39.8 litre liquor was seized in all nine divisions of Kolkata Police on the first day of immersion on Friday.
At the same time 1,967 cases were lodged and 38 vehicles were seized on Friday only for violating traffic norms. The police have prosecuted at least 1020 people for not using masks during Durga Puja. "There was no major incident reported during Durga Puja and we are maintaining a close vigil to avert any untoward incident till immersion of all idols get completed," said a senior police officer.
Till 8:30 pm on Saturday, immersion was going on peacefully throughout the state and the number of Durga idols of individual Pujas immersed stood at 30,673, while the number of immersions of community Durga Puja idols stood at about 54,005, which is around 56 per cent.