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Will not succumb to conspiracy: Mamata on Calcutta HC setting aside govt order on Durga idol immersion

The Calcutta high court on Thursday put on hold the Bengal government order restricting immersion of Durga idols on Muharram.

kolkata Updated: Sep 21, 2017 23:32 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
West Bengal,Bengal,Mamata Banerjee
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee at a press conference in Kolkata. (PTI File Photo)

If there is violence on October 1, the “conspirators” would be responsible, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee said on Thursday after the Calcutta high court allowed Durga idol immersion on the day of Muharram.

The chief minister did not spell out who the conspirators were but her remarks were seen as a veiled reference to the BJP.

“Someone can even slit my throat, but I will not succumb to conspiracy,” Banerjee said, without referring to the high court order that came earlier in the day.

“If anything happens, it will be responsibility of the conspirators,” she said while inaugurating a prominent community Durga puja in south Kolkata.

The high court put on hold her government’s order that restricted immersion of idols of the Hindu goddess on Muharram, a day when Muslims take out processions to mourn Imam Hussain, a grandson of the Prophet Mohammad.

The court also asked the administration to ensure adequate planning and security to avoid clashes during the state’s biggest festival, the Durga Puja.

Her government, said Banerjee, was determined to thwart any attempts at creating tension between two communities. “I will not spare those who will instigate tension and riots. The administration will not hesitate to take strong action against the conspirators,” she said.

The chief minister is expected to meet the state’s top police officers for an emergency meeting on Friday to follow up on the court order that asked for separate routes for idol immersion and Muharram processions.

The order was yet another slap on the face of the chief minister, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said. A bit player in the eastern state, the BJP is keen to make its presence felt and often accuses Banerjee of “appeasing” the Muslim community.

Inaugurating the puja on Thursday, Banerjee said if banning immersion for a single day invited allegations of appeasement, she was ready to face such accusations all her life.

First Published: Sep 21, 2017 19:12 IST