UP: Yogi Adityanath govt issues guidelines for Durga puja, Muharram
The guidelines include a ban in use of DJs, restriction on use of loudspeakers and stipulation of heights of Durga idols and tazias.india Updated: Sep 18, 2017 19:01 IST
Uttar Pradesh government has come out with a slew of guidelines for peaceful and smooth celebrations of Durga Puja, Dussehra and Muharram that are about a fortnight away.
The guidelines include a ban on use of disc jockeys (DJs) during the celebrations, restriction on use of loudspeakers, stipulation of procession routes and heights of Durga idols and tazias that are carried in processions during Muharram.
They were chalked out at a high-level law-and-order review meeting chief minister Yogi Adityanath had with senior officials of his government on Saturday evening, sources said.
The four-day Durga puja celebrations begin on September 26. Dussehra, also known as Vijayadashami, will be observed on September 30, while Muharram falls on October 1.
Maintaining law and order during the festival season will be an acid test for the Adityanath’s BJP government in Uttar Pradesh, particularly in the communally sensitive west and eastern parts of the state.
Disputes over use of loudspeakers or taking a particular route for procession between Hindu and Muslim communities during these festivals sparked several communal clashes in the past.
To avoid recurrence of such incidents procession routes for the immersion of Durga idols and taking out tazias will be fixed by the state government and the organisers will be accordingly informed, said an official privy to the discussions in the meeting.
Use of loudspeakers will also be strictly regulated as per rules set up by the district administrations.
During the about hour-long video conferencing, the chief minister collected feedbacks from officers of sensitive Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Lucknow, Kanpur, Agra, Meerut and Bareilly ranges.
Usually principal secretary (home) and DGP give instructions to the district administration through video conferencing before major events or festivities, but this time chief minister himself conveyed the directives.
He directed them to remain alert for the occasions and hold meetings of peace committees at police stations by September 21.
The officers were asked not to allow any deviation from the traditions being followed in the past during the celebrations.
Chief minister also directed officials to form five-member committees comprising officials from the district administrations and members of the organisation committees of puja and Muharram to coordinate with the police.
He also asked them to hold meetings with organisers before the start of the processions.
Height of Durga idols and tazias will be fixed by the administration to ensure that no tree was cut, or structure demolished, on the route of the respective processions, the official added.
The chief minister urged officials to motivate puja organisers to immerse idols in ponds instead of rivers to avoid river pollution.
He also ordered a crackdown on anti-social elements to check eve teasing and harassment of women during Ram Leela programmes or near puja pandals or fairs organised on the occasion.
“Intelligence units should provide regular feedbacks to the administration over law and order,” the official said quoting Adityanath.
He also district magistrates and superintendents of police to maintain cleanliness along with security at puja pandals and tazia sites.