Doubt whether HC order will be enforced in letter & spirit by state admn: Adhir Ranjan


Bengal Congress president Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury on Wednesday expressed doubt if the Calcutta High Court order making all community puja pandals as no-entry zone will be enforced in letter and spirit by the state administration.

He said the state government had “failed to give a convincing” roadmap during the hearing at the high court about ways to contain group transmission of COVID-19 virus if puja revellers hit the streets.

Chowdhury, who is also the leader of Congress in the Lok Sabha described the Mamata Banerjee government as an “inept, inefficient regime”.

“The CM herself has confirmed community transmission already started in West Bengal and COVID-19 cases are on the rise in the state. Keeping that situation in mind the state has failed to convince the hon’ble high court that it will be able to check that graph if crowds are allowed on puja days,” the West Bengal Congress president said.

“I have doubt if the administration will succeed in enforcing the order of the high court barring entry of visitors into the pandals. There are thousands of pujas across the state, small and big,” he said.

Chowdhury alleged the CM has taken hasty decisions “which had only caused confusion in people’s mind.”

The senior Congress leader further said decisions like providing Rs 50,000 as a grant to every puja committee has been taken keeping an eye on vote bank politics while many people are dying every day due to lack of proper healthcare facilities.

Chowdhury said though the HC decision may have made Bengalis disappointed as Durga puja is integrated with their sentiments, “human lives are more precious. Festivals will come and go.”

The Calcutta High Court on Wednesday partly modified its order on community Durga Pujas, allowing drummers to perform within the no-entry zones of the marquees and raising the number of people who can be present there for big pujas from 25 to 60.

Hearing an appeal submitted by Forum for Durgotsab, a division bench of the high court comprising Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee, retained its earlier order declaring all Durga Puja marquees no-entry zones and erecting barricades in front of the pandals to prevent visitors from entering inside in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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