“I Will Not be Responsible for Violence,” Mamata Hits Back at HC

“Why can’t two communities celebrate together?” the court asked the West Bengal government.

3 min read
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. 

Hitting back at the High Court’s decision to revoke the West Bengal government’s order prohibiting immersion of Durga idols during Muharram, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said that she will not be responsible for any violence.

“They can try to start a riot but we will not let them do so. We will take precautions by all means yet if any violence breaks out, I will not be held responsible. I will not be responsible for violence, I will be responsible for peace,” she said.

You can slit my throat but no one can tell me what to do. Someone else will take responsibility if there is trouble.
Mamata Banerjee, WB Chief Minister

She said that idol immersion doesn’t take place on ekadashi or on Saturday, which is on the same day as Muharram. “They’re belittling the festival,” she said.

I don’t understand when people don’t understand the culture of Bengal, someone gives gyan on Bengal. There is vendetta against us from the Centre. People being at peace makes them restless? It is so easy to spark fire and so difficult to douse it. If anyone does conspiracy, I will douse it.

Following the Court order, Banerjee has no option but to take adequate preparations, and suggest separate routes for idol immersion and Muharram processions.

This is the second instance of the High Court ruling out the West Bengal government’s order.

The state had on 15 September told the court that it had decided to extend the deadline for immersion of Durga idols from 6 pm to 10 pm on Vijaya Dashami on 30 September. The government had also ruled that there would be no immersion on 1 October, when Muharram is scheduled to be observed. Immersion would resume from 2 October, the state had told the court.

While hearing petitions for the extension of the immersion schedule for Durga Pujo on 21 Sepetember, the Calcutta HC called the Chief Minister’s order “arbitrary”.

You are exercising extreme power without any basis.
Calcutta HC told the state govt

“If you get a dream that something will go wrong, you cannot impose restrictions,” the court had said during the hearing.

The Chief Minister has not spoken about the High Court’s verdict yet.

‘Why Can’t Hindu, Muslims Celebrate Together?’

The court had also demanded to see a written order from the Superintendent of Police to the District Magistrate, informing the office of the possibility of a ‘breach of peace’, which had not been done so in this case.

“Why can’t two communities celebrate together?” the court asked the West Bengal government.

Earlier this week, state Advocate General Kishore Dutta submitted before the bench, which comprised of Justice T Chakraborty, that the government would allow immersion of all Durga idols that reach the designated sites on the banks of rivers and other water bodies till 10 pm on Vijaya Dashami, at the end of the five-day festival.

Counsel for one of the petitioners, S Roy Chowdhury, reiterated his prayer before the court that immersion of idols in rivers and other water bodies in the state be allowed till 1.36 am on Vijaya Dashami in accordance with the 'Vishuddha Siddhanta', one of the three almanacs followed by Durga Puja organisers in the state.

Another petitioner claimed that there was no bar on immersion even if the date coincided with Muharram till a few years ago.

(With inputs from PTI)

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