Durga idol immersion row: Mamata Banerjee won't move Supreme Court against Calcutta High Court order

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The West Bengal government on Friday decided not to challenge the Calcutta High Court's order in the Supreme Court.

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday had allowed Durga idol's visarjan on Muharram on October 1. After the High Court's order, Mamata Banerjee government had reportedly decided to go in appeal against the order. But now the state government has changed its mind.

The High Court on Thursday had also ordered the administration to make sure that there are no clashes between members of the two communities.

A division bench of Justice Rakesh Tiwari and Justice Harish Tandon ordered the state government to plan the routes of Muharrum’s procession and idol immersion separately and in such a way that those did not overlap.

The bench also said that there would not be any restriction to the immersion of idols and idols could be immersed every day after ‘dashami’ which is on September 30, the last day of the five-day Durga Puja, till midnight, including October 1, which is Muharrum.

The state government had banned idol immersion after 10 pm on September 30 and said there would be no immersion on October 1 because of Muharrum. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that there would be thousands of people on the streets and restrictions would help to maintain law and order. After the final disposal of the case, the order of the court could be used for future reference if there is any clash of dates between Muharrum and Durga Puja.

Mamata Banerjee had angrily reacted to the Calcutta High Court's verdict on Durga idol immersion on Thrusday. "Slit my throat but I will do what I can to keep peace," the Chief Minister was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Questioning the West Bengal government's curbs on Durga idol immersion, the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday said the state cannot hinder a citizen's right to practise religion on the basis of a mere assumption of law and order disruption and must provide sound reasons for doing so.

This year, as many as three public interest litigations were filed challenging the state’s restriction on immersion.

(With agency inputs)
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