Durga Puja 2020: Darshan of Maa Durga is forbidden in West Bengal, order of Har Pooja Pandal 'Containment Zone', High Court

The Calcutta High Court gave this ruling while hearing a petition filed against the decision of the West Bengal government to allow Durga Puja. The High Court directed all the puja pandals of the state to be declared as the Containment Zone and also completely banned the entry of visitors to the pandals.

19th October, 2020

During the Durga Puja this time in West Bengal, visiting the pandal has stopped the durga darshan. All puja pandals have been declared as 'Containment Zone'. That is, no person will be able to go inside the puja pandal. Not only that, 5 meters of small pandals, then no one will be able to enter even within 10 meters of big pandals. The Calcutta High Court gave this order on Monday (October 19, 2020).

The Calcutta High Court gave this ruling while hearing a petition filed against the decision of the West Bengal government to allow Durga Puja. The High Court directed all the puja pandals of the state to be declared as the Containment Zone and also completely banned the entry of visitors to the pandals. Visitors will not be able to enter any puja pandal anymore.

After hearing the case, a division bench of High Court Judge Sanjeev Banerjee and Judge Arijit Banerjee said that barricading will have to be done with each puja pandal in the state, along with the board of prohibition of entry will be mandatory. Five meters from the small puja pandal and 10 meters from the big puja pandal will completely ban the entry of anyone. The bench said that visitors will be able to see the idol of Maa Durga only through virtual medium.

The High Court also expressed concern over security arrangements during Durga Puja. It is said that during Durga Puja, crowds will increase in the pandals, due to which there is a possibility of corona infection increasing. During the hearing of the case, High Court Judge Sanjeev Banerjee said that the picture of the crowd coming to the puja pandals and markets in newspapers these days is appalling. Thousands of people are gathering to do the shopping and the police is unable to stop it, how is the crowd of Pooja Pandal going to follow the social distancing anywhere.

Thousands of visitors are reaching the pandals. In the next few days this number will reach millions. Judge Sanjeev Banerjee questioned the government, how in the last two to three lakh people will be handled by just 30 thousand police. He also said that the Maharashtra government did not allow Ganesh Puja, so why was Durga Puja allowed here. The court was told by the state government that the number of police forces will be increased.

The court said that there is goodwill in the government guidelines, there is no implementation. It is not being implemented correctly. The High Court commented on the state government that the Home and Chief Secretary should have been more active. In this regard, counsel for the petitioner Vikas Ranjan Bhattacharya said that the High Court has asked the Police Administration and Organizing Committees to follow these instructions. The state government will have to submit a report about how much these orders were followed. The case will be heard after Lakkhi (Lakshmi) worship.

Calcutta High Court said

  • Visitors will not be allowed to enter the pandal

  • Devotees will visit Goddess only through virtual medium

  • Five meters away in small pandals and 10 meters away in big pandals

  • Barricading will have to be done in the worship area, Board will have to put up prohibition

  • Now the case will be heard after Lakkhi (Lakshmi) worship

  • The High Court is not satisfied with the state government's arrangement to rescue Corona during the puja

  • How will 30 thousand police handle a crowd of two-three lakh people?

Category: India: West Bengal

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Reported by:
Maharanee Kumari