Provide Concrete Grounds to Impose Curbs on Durga Statue Immersion: HC to Bengal Government

KOLKATA, INDIA, September 20, 2017 (Times of India): Questioning the West Bengal government’s curbs on Durga statue immersion, the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday said the State cannot hinder a citizen’s right to practise religion on the basis of a mere assumption of law and order disruption and must provide sound reasons for doing so. “Let them (Hindus and Muslims) live in harmony, do not create a line between them,” acting Chief Justice Rakesh Tiwary said, asking the government to provide a “concrete ground” for its decision to stop the immersion of Durga statues after 10pm on September 30 (Vijaya Dashami day) and on October 1 on account of the Muslim holy day of Muharram.

Hearing three Public Interest Litigations challenging the restrictions on immersion of statues at the end of the five-day Durga Puja festival, a bench, also comprising Justice Harish Tandon, said a mere assumption that a law-and-order situation might arise, owing to Vijaya Dashami and Muharram falling one after the other, could not be the basis of imposing curbs on immersion timings. “People have the right to practise their religious activities, whichever community they may be of, and the State cannot put restrictions, unless it has a concrete ground to believe that two communities cannot live together,” the acting chief justice said.

Source: Hinduism Today