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Petition Filed in Calcutta High Court Against Idol Immersion Ban on Muharram

The petition has been filed by a city-based lawyer Smarajit Roy Chowdhury. Muharram this year falls on October 1, right in the middle of Durga Puja.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:September 13, 2017, 11:20 PM IST
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Petition Filed in Calcutta High Court Against Idol Immersion Ban on Muharram
File photo Durga idol immersion during Durga Puja in Kolkata. Image: Reuters
Kolkata: A petition has been filed in the Calcutta High Court against West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s decision to ban idol immersion on Muharram.

The petition has been filed by a city-based lawyer Smarajit Roy Chowdhury. Muharram this year falls on October 1, right in the middle of Durga Puja.

Speaking to News18, Choudhury said, “Durga puja is one of the biggest festivals in Bengal and we follow rituals based on panjika. Whether it is puja timing, Anjali, immersion everything is based on auspicious timings.”

“We felt that there is an attempt to suppress right to religion and activity based on religion. Therefore, we filed a petition at Calcutta High Court on last Wednesday against government’s move to ban immersion on Muharram,” he added.

Choudhury is known to file petitions. He even filed a petition claiming that Job Charnock was not the founder of Calcutta (now Kolkata).

While saying that the next date hearing is on September 15, he said, “We felt that Bengalis who celebrate Puja were asked to compromise and adjust with the immersion day and timing. But this was not the case with the other communities. They were not asked to change their timings or there was no attempt to convince both the communities to organize both the events peacefully. The attempt to ban immersion on Muharram day will further create a divide among us. We are here to live like brothers but such order creates rift.”

He said, “We also want to know from the government that why they have not issued any official letter in this regard.”

Meanwhile, according to the Bar and Bench, a similar petition has been filed in the Calcutta High Court against idol immersion order. The petition has been filed by Youth Bar Association of India.

On August 24, Banerjee had announced that there will be no immersion of Goddess Durga Idol on October 1 due to the Muharram procession. The Chief Minister made the announcement after having a meeting with the puja organizers and Muharram committee members in Kolkata.

She said, “The decision was taken to maintain the communal harmony and a law and order situation in the state. There are people who may try to instigate people if we allow immersion on Muharram day. They will try to disturb the communal harmony in the state and we will not allow that to happen in Bengal.”

This is not for the first time when immersion day was rescheduled due to Muharram in Bengal. Last year, on October 6 - a single-member bench of Justice Dipankar Dutta said that there should not be any decision which could pit “one community against another”, and that “intolerance would rise in the event of such arbitrary decision” of the government.
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