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Durga idol immersions: Why can’t communities celebrate festivals together, HC asks West Bengal

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had barred Durga idol immersions on October 1 because of Muharram.

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday asked the Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal why Hindu and Muslim communities in the state could not celebrate Durga Puja and Muharram together, reported ANI. The court’s remarks came after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had on August 24 barred Durga idol immersions on October 1 because of Muharram.

The chief minister had said that the decision was made to ensure that there was no violence between communities.

The judges on Wednesday asked the state not to create differences. “When you are firm there is communal harmony in the state, why are you creating a communal distinction between the two. Let them live together. Do not create lines between them. Let them live in harmony,” the court told the state government.

Banerjee had also told the police not to allow Shashtra Puja (weapon worship) on Vijaya Dashmi. On September 16, she had warned the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and asked them not to politicise festivals.

The VHP, however, had said that it would get permission from the court to go ahead with celebrations on Vijaya Dashmi. “Shastra Puja is an essential part of Durga Puja,” VHP Vice President, south Bengal, Chandranath Das had said. “Mamata is the daughter of a Brahmin, and she knows the paraphernalia of pujas, but ignores those to appease Muslims and ensure her vote bank.”

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