Kashi tense over Ganesh idol immersion

Kashi tense over Ganesh idol immersion
Saffron brigade joined the sit-in protest of Ganesh Puja organizers against the district administration at Godowlia.
VARANASI: Tension gripped the localities along road leading to Dashaswamedh Ghat on Tuesday morning as saffron brigade joined the sit-in of a Ganesh Puja organizers at Godowlia in protest against stopping their idol and immersion procession by district administration and police from taking to immerse in river Ganga since Monday evening in view of Allahabad high court order.The Sri Kashi Maratha Utsav Samiti carried out its immersion procession on Monday evening with the end of Ganeshotsava. The district administration and police stopped this procession at Godowlia at 6pm on Monday before it could reach Dashaswamedh Ghat. Following the action of officials the Samiti stopped their procession at same venue and started sit-in. The ADM city Vindhyavasini Rai and SP city Sudhakar Yadav, who camped there, made it very clear that to ensure compliance of HC order the puja organisers can’t be allowed to immerse the idol in Ganga. “They are being suggested to take the procession at alternative sites for immersions like Samneghat or the ponds of Company Bagh or Machhodari,” they said.

But, the Puja organizers were not ready to take the idol at alternative waterbodies for immersion. Mayor Ram Gopal Mohaley tried to intervene around midnight to end the crisis. However, on failing in his bid Mohaley accused the officials for complicating the issue by saying that if the administration was serious for ensuring compliance of HC order why the officials didn’t stop the organizers from carrying out the procession towards Ganga from the puja venue.

The deadlock between district administration, police and puja organizers continued till Tuesday morning. Situation started worsening when groups of seers, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Vishwa Hindu Mahasabha, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, Hindu Yuva Vahini and also some Bhartiya Janata Party leaders joined the sit-in of puja organizers at Godowlia. The saffron brigade also gave the call for Varanasi Bandh. The effect of this call was evident in adjoining markets of Chowk, Bansphatak, Girjaghar and Jangambadi.

The saffron brigade and police came face to face when a procession of Hindu Yuva Vahini reached Naisadak and started forcing traders to pull down their shutter. Bajrang Dal activists also reached Cantonment railway station to block GT road. The high drama continued as no senior official reached Godowlia to end the deadlock and find out solution against the problem.