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Only doubly vaccinated people can take part in sindoor khela: HC

Calcutta High Court

Ashok Chatterjee

Kolkata (The Hawk): After restricting visitors from entering pandals during the Durga Puja, the Calcutta High Court on Thursday made a concession for people with double vaccine shots.

The high court order, which is sure to bring cheer to lakhs of Puja enthusiasts, said that people, who have been jabbed twice, can be allowed inside the structures to offer prayers and also be part of Sindoor Khela (a ritual performed on Vijaya Dashami by married women) and pushpanjali (offering flowers to goddess Durga).

“For big Puja pandals, 45-60 people can be allowed and for small pandals 10-15 people can be accommodated at one go,” said the court’s order.

Meanwhile, the Kolkata Police also held several rounds of meetings to decide on the police picketing during Durga Puja near the pandals.

The police commissioner added that the immersions will be from October 15-18.

Kolkata Police commissioner Soumen Mitra said that police will be deployed all over the city to avoid any untoward incident.

“All protocols of Calcutta High Court and the state government will be maintained. Since there will be no night curfew, police picketing will be there also at night, from midnight to 8am. People are cautious and are wearing masks and hope they will cooperate with police even during the festivities,” said Mitra.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee cancelled the Carnival. This will be the second year when the city will not witness its sought-after immersion festival started by the chief minister.