Kolkata, Oct 19 (IANS) The Kolkata Police on Monday banned public viewing of the “world’s tallest idol of Goddess Durga” and filed a case against the organisers on the charge of violating rules and regulations.
The move comes after a massive rush of devotes led to a stampede-like situation at the Deshapriya Park Puja marquee on Sunday, injuring a number of people.
“The Deshapriya Park Puja has been closed for public viewing. Nobody will be allowed to visit the marquee this puja.
“Whatever legal action needs to be taken against them will be taken. They (organisers) have violated rules and regulation concerning the puja,” city police commissioner Surajit Kar Purakayastha told media persons.
Police also suo-motu initiated a case against the organisers citing violations of Calcutta High Court norms which prescribe a maximum limit of 40 feet for puja pandal.
The police chief also claimed that police did not hold inspection of the marquee which saw a huge publicity build-up for months, with advertisements in the media and on billboards claiming it had set up the tallest Durga idol in the world.
“Neither I, nor Joint Commissioner of Police (Headquarters) (Rajiv Mishra) inspected the marquee. Each and every puja in the city has to follow the rules and regulations laid down by the police.
“All the organisers are expected to follow these rules. When there is a violation we take steps,” said Purakayastha.
Police have also put a cover on the marquee to prevent viewing of the idol from outside.
Attracting lakhs of viewers after it was inaugurated on Saturday, the puja led to a massive traffic snarl as vehicles stood in queues for hours on vital thoroughfares.
According to police, at least three people were injured in the Sunday night stampede though eyewitnesses claimed that over a dozen people were injured.
Following the incident, the marquee was temporarily closed for public viewing.
The idol, made of cement and fibre glass, has been placed outside the pandal under an open sky due to its massive size.
The organisers even wrote to the Guinness World Records, requesting it to recognise the statue as the world’s tallest Durga idol (between 80 feet and 100 feet).