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Conspiracies afoot to create communal disharmony over Muharram and idol immersion: Mamata Banerjee

The government has declared a ban on Durga idol immersions from 6 pm on September 30 that will continue on October 1. Immersions can again take place on October 2.

kolkata Updated: Aug 28, 2017 16:52 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times
Durga,Immersion,RSS
Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee has recently been blaming the saffron camp of trying to extract political mileage by fomenting trouble between Hindus and Muslims in her state. (HT Photo)

A section of interest groups are spreading rumours to foment trouble between communities in the state over immersion of Durga idols and Muharram, Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee said on Monday. She has recently announced that idol immersion will be allowed only till 6 pm on September 30, the day of Bijoya Dashami and will be suspended on October 1, the day of Muharram.

Immersion will be permitted again on October 2.

Read: No Durga idol immersion on Oct 1 due to Muharram, maintain communal harmony: Mamata

“I have got information that some interest groups are trying to create confusion over this issue with the intention of creating tension. But they are not aware that as per rituals idol immersion are not allowed on the day of Ekadashi (October 1 this year). These are nothing to create tension by misinforming people. I will not tolerate this and at the same time request all of you not to get trapped in such conspiracies,” said the chief minister on Monday. She was speaking at a programme organised to celebrate the foundation day of Trinamool Congress’s student wing.

Immersion of Durga idols begins on Bijoya Dashami, the last day of the puja. The administration thinks these processions may cross the path of the Muharram processions that will be organised on the evening of September 30, the day of Bijoya Dashami. Muharram is on October 1. (HT Photo)

Incidentally, after the government’s announcement of the restrictions last week, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) leaders said they will not abide by the restrictions and do whatever the scriptures say.

“Hindus will immerse the idols following shaashtra guidelines. It is the government’s duty to ensure both communities are able to perform their rituals as per religious guidelines. Hindus will immerse idols after 6 pm on Bijoya Dashami as the almanac allows it,” said Jisnu Basu, general secretary of RSS south Bengal, last week.

Read: RSS, VHP refuse to abide by Mamata govt’s Durga immersion curbs in Bengal

With Muharram scheduled a day after Dashami this year, the Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee asked the people to cooperate with each other and not to fall prey to provocation leading to communal problems.

“Hindus will immerse the idols following shaashtra guidelines. It is the government’s duty to ensure both communities are able to perform their rituals as per religious guidelines. Hindus will immerse idols after 6pm on Bijoya Dashami as the almanac allows it,” said Jisnu Basu.

Last year, when Muharram was observed a day after Dashami, a series of small to medium scale communal clashes took places across various districts in West Bengal that continued for nearly a week. While no lives were lost, properties were destroyed.

She also referred to acts of vandalism by Baba Ram Rahim supporters at Panchkula in Punjab and the series of crib deaths at Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh. “First you manage Panchkula and Uttar Pradesh and then come to Bengal,” Mamata Banerjee quipped.

First Published: Aug 28, 2017 16:52 IST