Provide concrete reasons on immersion curbs: HC

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 22, 2017

Kolkata: On Thursday, Calcutta High Court has issued an interim stay on West Bengal government's notification, banning Durga idol immersion on the day of Muharram on October 1.

Hearing three PILs challenging the restrictions on immersion of idols at the end of the five-day Durga Puja festival, a Bench, also comprising Justice Harish Tandon, said a mere assumption that a law-and-order situation might arise, owing to Vijaya Dashami and Muharram falling one after the other, could not be the basis of imposing curbs on immersion timings.

The issue marked a concerted attempt to polarise the majority community voter in favour of the BJP which is poorly represented in the Assembly but is growing in strength having already overtaken the Left and the Congress as challengers to the Trinamool Congress in terms of vote share in the State.

Acting Chief Justice of Rakesh Tiwary of Calcutta High Court asked the State Government, "Just because you are the state, can you pass arbitrary order?"

The bench also directed the state government to put out advertisements giving information about the routes and also for ensuring amity and harmony between the communities. CM Mamata Banerjee says she will not tolerate a rally with arms in the name of Shastra Pujan Priyanka Tibrewal, advocate- on - record, told media, "The court has directed the state government to designate separate routes for Durga Puja immersion and Muharram processions". "Prohibition means that you are taking last step first". "You are exercising extreme power without any concrete logic".

During the hearing, the court said that one can not impose restrictions on the basis of a mere assumption of law and order disruption over the state government's notification. It said it was unfair to interfere in people's religious freedom.

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