West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said puja organisers will have to seek permission from the state government for idol immersions on October 1, India Today reported. Banerjee’s fresh orders come a day after the Calcutta High Court revoked her earlier diktat restricting the timings of Durga idol immersions on Muharram.
“Security is my first priority,” the chief minister was quoted as saying. She, however, told News 18 that her government would not challenge the order at the Supreme Court. Earlier, there were reports that the state would move the top court against the verdict.
On Thursday, after hearing three Public Interest Litigations, the Calcutta High Court had criticised the state government for its “arbitrary use of power” in prohibiting Durga idol immersions on October 1, and allowed immersions till midnight on all days of the festival. “There is a difference between regulation and prohibition,” acting Chief Justice Rakesh Tiwary had told the Mamata Banerjee government.
Banerjee had earlier put the curbs in place because she feared clashes between crowds participating in Muharram processions organised to mark the Muslim period of mourning, and Hindus immersing idols of the goddess. The state had restricted immersions from 6 pm on September 30 till October 1, the day of Muharram.