Training her guns towards the RSS, Bajrang Dal and the VHP, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday warned right-wing organisations to "not play with fire", and disrupt communal harmony during the impending Durga Puja. She maintained that her government is determined to ensure that Dusshera and puja celebrations go ahead peacefully.
She further clarified that the state government has not issued any directive to stop Vijaya Dashami celebrations in puja pandals and households, stating that some mischievous elements were disseminating incorrect information.
"We have simply postponed the immersion ritual, which falls on October 1, since it is coinciding with Muharram this year, which is an occasion of mourning for Muslims. Idols can be immersed a day after on October 2 till October 4," she said while addressing the press at the state secretariat.
"Women will observe the usual sindoor khela custom. There is also no ban on observing Vijaya Dashami, and Durga Puja and Kali Puja celebrations will also go ahead as has been the tradition for ages, where lakhs of people hit the streets to celebrate the festival with peace and harmony. Everything else is a rumour," she said.
"The administration will take stern measures against those trying to disrupt peace," she said. The CM also castigated the Bharatiya Janata Party, saying that it "should not use CBI, ED, and fan riots as political tools". She also claimed that the state police had recently foiled an attempt by the BJP to incite communal disharmony by arresting two of its party workers.
Mamata Banerjee also insisted that the administration will not give permission to carry arms during the procession to be held on the day of immersion. "This is illegal and such processions are not a part of Bengali tradition and we will not allow it to take place. The administration will take stringent action if there is any attempt to take out such processions," she said.
Banerjee said the administration will not give permission to carry arms during the immersion procession.