West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday barred idol immersions part of Durga Puja celebrations on the day of Muharram. “This year, Durga Puja and Muharram fall on the same day,” she said on Twitter. “Except for a 24-hour period on the day of Muharram, immersions can take place on October 2, 3 and 4.”
Muharram will be observed on October 1 this year. The Durga Puja festivities go on for ten days.
“We have to maintain peace during the festivals,” she told reporters in Kolkata, according to The Indian Express. “Barricades will be set up at places where Muharram processions will be taken out so that processions of both communities do not mix up...We have to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Banerjee had issued an order against the immersion of Durga idols on Dashami, the tenth day of the celebrations, till Muharram processions ended. “No idol immersion after 6 pm on Dashami [September 30] till October 1 due to Muharram processions,” she had said in an official statement. “Immersions will resume from October 2.”
The West Bengal chief minister had passed a similar order in 2016, but the Kolkata High Court had stayed the directive.