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By A Newsman

Kolkata, 23 August: LIKE in the past two years, Trinamool government has decided not to allow the immersion of Durga idols in Bengal on the next day of Bijaya Dashami to pave the way for Muharram processions.

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee made the announcement this evening after a meeting with community Durga Puja committees, Muslim religious leaders, police, and the fire brigade at Netaji Indoor Stadium in Kolkata.

Banerjee said that puja organisers can immerse Durga idols until 6 pm on Dashami (30 September), but no immersion will be allowed on 1 October.

This is because Muslims all over Bengal will take out Muharram processions on that day. After the one-day break, the immersion of Durga idols will resume from 10 am on 2 October and continue until all idols are immersed into the rivers.

“We respect all the religions and have no wish to hurt any religious sentiments. All we want is to ensure that all sections are able to observe their festivals in peace and harmony,” the CM said. She added that similar to last year, a procession of select Durga idols will be held at Red Road in the city a few days after Dashami.

Reacting to the announcement, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh said that the way Mamata Banerjee is moving, she might one day stop Durga Puja altogether.

“The ruling party has earlier stopped Saraswati Puja in some schools and now its government is doing this. This is a move towards the CM’s plans to turn Bengal into another Bangladesh. This is not a good sign,” Ghosh said.