Police permit necessary for idol immersion on Muharram: Mamata sidesteps HC order

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The home secretary said that to seek permission for immersion of the Durga idols, puja organisers were required to follow a standard protocol.

"The court has asked the state government to diversify the routes of processions on the occasion of Durga Puja immersion and Tazia and ensure that the routes do not overlap in any way. Actually, the court's verdict went in our favour", he said. Now it is up to the state government to assess whether the immersion is permissible or not permissible.

"In the court's order, it is categorically mentioned that the immersion is only allowed if "found permissible". Mamata said that the police will take a call on whether visarjan (immersion) can take place or not. Some people are trying to politicise the issue.

"Let them live in harmony".

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On Friday afternoon, Banerjee convened a high-level meeting with Trinamool Congress ministers, MLAs and MPs from Kolkata and its neighbouring districts at Nabanna, the state secretariat, for a way-out.

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday allowed Durga idol's visarjan on Muharram on October 1.

Mamata government had imposed restrictions on Durga idol immersion on Vijayadashami on September 30 after 10 pm and said that no immersion would be allowed on October 1, the day Muharram is scheduled to be observed.

"You (government) can not act on mere assumption that law and order situation might deteriorate owing to Vijaya Dashami and Muharram falling one after the other...." According to police sources, police will have the right to turn down any application if it feels that the immersion procession might lead to law and order problems. 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. A member of state cabinet informed that "immediately after the Calcutta High court order passed the order on Thursday, the matter was referred to Kapil Sibal for his opinion. You are exercising extreme power without any concrete logic".

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