Durga idol immersion: Special measures undertaken at riot-hit Basirhat
Special measures have been undertaken by authorities of India and Bangladesh for Durga idol immersion at Kalindi and Ichamati rivers along the Bangladesh border in West Bengal’s Basirhat, which witnessed violent communal riots two months back.
Since the puja organisers from both West Bengal and Bangladesh opt for Kalinidi river at Hinganganj and Ichamati river at Taki, both under Basirhat sub- division, the Mamata Banerjee government and BSF sat with the Bangladeshi administration and Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) in this precautionary exercise on Friday and Saturday.
A state home department official said that in case of Kalindi river at Hingalgunj, two separate dates for idol immersion have been allotted for the puja organizers from West Bengal and Bangladesh.
“While September 30 has been allotted for organizers from Bangladesh, October 2 has been allotted for those from West Bengal,” he said.
In case of Ichamati, it has been decided that the puja organisers from both West Bengal and Bangladesh will have to complete their immersion process by September 30, which is the last day of Vijaya Dashami.
In the meetings, both BSF and BGB agreed to increase monitoring during the immersion time, to ensure that no illegal crossover happens through the rivers.
At a high-level meeting with senior bureaucrats and police officers of the state on Friday, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had told the police to be specially careful of the Indo- Bangladesh border area following information that some outsiders might try to create trouble in the area during the festival days.
After the meeting, the state police chief, Surajit Kar Purakayastha had cautioned about the possibility of attempt to create troubles by some outsiders.
The measures come after the Calcutta high court put a stay on the government’s ban on Durga idol immersion on October 1, which Muslims observe as Muharram, the day of mourning.
Violence broke out in Baduria town of Basirhat over a controversial Facebook post by a 17-year old school student on June 30, turning the region into a virtual battlefield over the next few days until paramilitary forces and police intervened and cooled the temperatures.
The violence also resulted in a face-off between Mamata Banerjee and West Bengal governor Kesari Nath Tripathi.