Mamata Banerjee puts restriction on Durga idol immersion on Muharram to avoid clashes; BJP to move court

With Muharram falling a day after the end of four-day long Durga Puja on 1 October, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Wednesday that idol immersion will not be allowed after 6 pm on 30 September.

The immersion would resume on 2 October and continue till 4 October, Mamata wrote on Twitter.

Banerjee also appealed to the people to cooperate with each other and not fall prey to provocation leading to communal tension.

"Some people will try to create trouble on Hindu-Muslim grounds. Every religion is ours. But if there is a problem while a procession is passing a puja pandal, we will all be affected," NDTV quoted Banerjee as saying.

BJP immediately reacted to the announcement saying that they will challenge the decision in the court, and accused Mamata of "minority appeasement".

“Last year, she had given similar orders which were challenged in the high court, which had pulled up the state government for giving such arbitrary orders aimed at appeasing the minorities. However, the high court order had come after the festival. We will challenge her decision in the court of law,” the Indian Express quoted BJP’s national secretary Rahul Sinha.

“The Mamata Banerjee government is appeasing the minorities by putting restrictions on Hindu celebrations. Hindus here cannot take out Ram Navami and Hanuman Jayanti processions. Now she has put a restriction on idol immersion. We oppose such a decision,” he added.

BJP’s West Bengal chief Dilip Ghosh equated the chief minister’s decision with Talibani rule.
“Is West Bengal gradually heading towards Talibani rule? Saraswati Pujas being stopped at schools, Durga puja immersion being repeatedly barred, the attempt to introduce Urdu-Arabic words in Bengali language (abba, amma, aasmani) ...all this is proof of that. After this we will have to start calling 'didimoni' (Mamata Banerjee) by the (Urdu) term (for sister), 'apa'. How long will the people of Bengal tolerate all this?," he wrote on Facebook.

Last year also, Mamata had angered many by imposing similar restrictions on idol immersion during Durga Puja which Calcutta High Court later lifted, terming the move as "arbitrary" and a “clear endeavour” by the state to “appease the minority section of the public, The Indian Express report said.

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Updated Date: Aug 24, 2017 16:03:38 IST