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Bengal Puja Organisers Need NoC From Police for Idol Immersion on Muharram

Officials decided to put the NOC clause after going through the Calcutta High Court’s order which categorically said that the immersion is only allowed if it if ‘found permissible’.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:September 22, 2017, 11:28 PM IST
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Bengal Puja Organisers Need NoC From Police for Idol Immersion on Muharram
File photo of Durga idol immersion during Durga Puja. Representative image.
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Kolkata: All Durga Puja organisers in West Bengal will have to take a ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NoC) from the police for idol immersion on Muharram day on October 1.

At a meeting of top officials presided over by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, it was decided that the police would ask the puja organisers to take permission by this Sunday, a senior state government official said.

The meeting, also attended by some ministers and senior police officers, including the state director general of police (DGP), decided that the superintendents of police (SPs) in the districts having international border would be put on alert on immersion days to avoid any untoward incident, the official said.

Officials decided to put the NoC clause after going through the Calcutta High Court’s order which categorically said that the immersion is only allowed if it is ‘found permissible’.

While addressing the media, West Bengal Home Secretary Atri Bhattacharya said, “The puja organisers will have to take permission from the police for immersion (on Muharram day). The permission might be denied or granted based on law and order situation.”

State Director General of Police, Surajit Kar Purakayastha, said, “The local police stations will have the rights to deny permission for immersion to puja organisers. The police will evaluate the situation and then only will allow or disallow idol immersion.”

Sources said that the government has taken the decision after state intelligence agencies received inputs about outsiders who may create communal problems during the Durga Puja.

Calcutta Police Commissioner, Rajeev Kumar said, “We are fully prepared for law and order situation in Kolkata. I would like to appeal to people not to upload provocative posts on social media.”

Earlier, the state government decided not challenge a Calcutta high court order, which put on hold the controversial order restricting idol immersion on October 1.

Speaking to News18, Trinamool Congress MP and lawyer, Kalyan Banerjee said, “Yesterday, most of the media reported wrongly that the Calcutta High Court revoked the state government decision on banning immersion on Muharram day. Actually, yesterday the court’s verdict went in our favour.”

When asked to elaborate he said, “In the court’s order it is categorically mentioned that the immersion is only allowed if it is found permissible. Now the state government has to decide whether immersion is permissible on Muharram day or not. It is up to the state government and the police department to take the final call depending on the situation whether to allow it or not.”

“We are not going to move Supreme Court because the Calcutta High Court’s order is actually in our favour. Some people are trying to politicise the issue. Let them politicise the issue. The state government is empowered to take the call whether it is conducive to allow immersion on October 1 or not,” he added.

| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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