Police have decided to lodge FIRs against Durga Puja committees for overshooting the October 15 morning deadline for immersion of their idols. October 14 was Dashami, the last day of the Puja.
Patna senior superintendent of police (SSP) Manu Maharaj said on Thursday that apart from FIRs, licences for organising Puja would not be given to errant committees from next year.
The officer said the police were busy compiling a list of around 40 such committees, which had not immersed their idols till Thursday afternoon. “The district administration’s deadline for idol immersion was October 15 morning. However, some committees have retained their idols in its violation. We have requested them more than once to complete the immersion. Committees, which missed the deadline, would face FIRs under Section 268 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for causing public nuisance,” said the SSP.
The police said the pandals were creating traffic problems in the city. “There was a big traffic jam in the Alamganj area of Patna City today (Thursday) owing to an immersion ceremony. This will not acceptable under any circumstance. Pandals in Khajekala, Barh and Naubatpur among other places are yet to immerse their idols,” said the SSP.
Residents agreed with police. “Only today I was stuck at Gai Ghat Road in Alamganj for more than two hours because of an immersion procession. With Durga Puja over, idols should be immersed on time. Any action against errant committees is justified,” said Alok Sinha, a resident of Alamganj.
A member of Ranipur Kali Puja Samiti in Patna City, said: “This is unjustified. It rained on both Navami and Dashami, preventing timely idol immersion. The police and the administration should consider this and not act strict.”
According to members of Kalikala Mandir Navyuvak Sangh, immersion on Tuesday was impossible. “According to tradition, Tuesday and Thursday are considered inauspicious for sending off daughters to their husbands’ homes. Immersion is carried out on Dashami but this year, it was raining heavily on Monday. Bakrid fell on Wednesday. So, we did not carry out immersion. If the administration lodges FIRs against us, we would protest the decision as our reasons were genuine,” said Alok Sah, a puja committee member.