The Madras High Court has directed the Coimbatore police to grant permission to install Ganesha idol at a housing board colony, where Muslims lived in large numbers, after obtaining the consent from the local Jamath.
Justice N Sathish Kumar gave a direction to this effect on August 26 while disposing of a criminal original petition from Mahalakshmi, who prayed for a direction to grant permission to install Ganesha Idol at Pullakadu Housing Unit in Ukkadam South and celebrate Vinayaka Chaturthi festival falling on August 31.
According to the petitioner, the residents in the housing colony want to celebrate Vinayaka Chaturthi in their area and that other community people are also willing to participate in the said celebrations and they have also agreed to even offer annadhanam (food distribution) to the devotees. She sought local police permission. The Additional Public Prosecutor, appearing for the police, submitted that the area is predominantly surrounded by Muslim community and therefore there will be a law and order problem. However, petitioner’s counsel submitted that even the local Jamath people are willing to participate in the celebrations and they had no objections.
“Such view of the matter, the petitioner is permitted to file an affidavit/undertaking before the police station concerned along with the affidavit of Jamath Committee to install Vinayakar idol and conduct the Chaturthi festival on August 31 at their housing unit by strictly following the guidelines prescribed under the GO dated August 9, 2018 of the Public (Law & Order) department." “On such undertaking being given by the petitioner, the police shall ensure proper protection," the judge said and made it clear that the petitioner shall install Vinayaka idol inside their housing unit only and celebrate the function. No procession shall be taken out along with the idol, the judge added.