Durga Puja Committees in UP Urge Adityanath Govt to Reverse Pandal Ban, Some Mull Moving SC

Bengali women dance during ‘Sindur Khela’ on the occasion of ‘Vijay Dashami’ at a Durga Puja pandal in Allahabad. (PTI/File photo)

Durga Puja organisers in Noida and Noida Extension have sought the detailed order, and have urged the government to reverse the ban. The Bengali Welfare Association of Prayagraj is planning to move the Supreme Court after the Allahabad High Court rejected its PIL against the government’s order on Monday.

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  • Last Updated: September 30, 2020, 7:20 PM IST

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Upset with the Yogi Adityanath government’s ban on Durga Puja pandals in the state, Bengali associations and committees are mulling their next move, with some saying they will approach the courts.

Puja organisers in Noida and Noida Extension have sought the detailed order, and have urged the government to reverse the ban, tweeting to the CM and district magistrate.


“If Ramleela event can be allowed with 100 people, then why discriminate against Durga Puja?” asks Himadri Banerjee, chairman of the Saptarshi Sangha in Noida. “The Bengalis of Noida are let down by the announcement. We still can’t believe that this can be the order of our Chief Minister who is such a religious person himself. We will meet the district magistrate and seek permission for Durga Puja, maintaining the strictest of Covid protocols. Like us, several other big puja committees in Noida, including Balaka, Sector 61 are planning to move the DM for permission,” Banerjee said.

Navneet Kulukshetra, cultural secretary of Balaka, Noida’s well-known puja in Sector 61 said, “There was enough division in the society already, why make an attempt to divide the gods and goddesses? If Ramleela as a cultural festival can get permission for 100 people, will the same rule apply for Durga Puja if showcased as a cultural event?”

“Greater Noida West Bengali Association will mark its third year celebration this year. For two years, we have been celebrating near Dauji Sweets ground, we need more clarity on the guidelines,” said Bidyajit Mukherjee, president of the association.

Gaur City Bengali Cultural Association’s general secretary Sajal Tewary said they will meet the District Magistrate on the issue soon.

Some organisers, meanwhile, are mulling holding the festivities within their gated communities. Debidas Kundu, president of Prateek Wisteria Durga Puja Samiti, said, “We will take a call on marking festivities inside the society premises only after the final guidelines are issued. The organisers are hoping that the administration tweaks ‘no pandal‘ order after Centre’s Unlock 5 guidelines.”

The guidelines for further relaxation in the strict lockdown imposed in view of Covid-19 in March will be announced on Wednesday.

The Bengali Welfare Association of Prayagraj is planning to move the Supreme Court after the Allahabad High Court rejected its PIL against the government’s order on Monday. The High Court refused to intervene in the matter and asked the association to approach the District Magistrate.

PK Roy, the secretary of the association, said: “The people of Uttar Pradesh, especially the Bengali community, are disillusioned by the order. We are educated people and know how to follow physical distancing rules and other Covid protocol. Whatever the state government has done is unfortunate.”

Vijay Chandra Srivastava, the counsel of the association said, “We will move the Supreme Court seeking permission to organise Durga Puja in pandals at public places as usual.”

Durga Puja guidelines issued in states like West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha bar cultural events, while emphasizing on social distancing and limited attendance at any given time.


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