300 Hindu families are denied permission to perform Durga Puja in West Bengal after opposition by 25 muslim families


In the past three years, they were denied a go-ahead by the local administration following objections by a few Muslim families in the village.

It’s been the fourth consecutive year when 300-odd households in a village in West Bengal’s Birbhum district are running from pillar to post seeking permission from the district administration just to organise a Durga puja in their village.

In the past three years, they were denied a go-ahead by the local administration following objections by a few Muslim families in the village.

The incident came to light at Kanglapahari village under Nalhati police station in the district, a Hindu-dominated village located near Bengal-Jharkhand border under Rampurhat sub-division.

The organisers knocked the doors of the district administration and submitted their plea to the office of the district magistrate, police superintendent, sub-divisional officer (SDO) and sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) of Rampurhat and Block Development Officer (BDO) of Nalhati-I on September 1. But no response have come so far.


All the district administrative machinery repeatedly denied permission to the puja committee, Kanglapahari Durga Mandir Committee, following objections by about 25 Muslim families in the village. In the past three years, the local administration, panchayat and Nalhati police jointly prevented puja organisers from hosting the puja on the grounds of law and order issues.

“I don’t know about the matter. I have not received anything as of now. Once I get it, I will definitely consider the matter,” Birbhum SP N Sudheer Kumar told Mail Today on phone. The appeal was first submitted to the offices of the DM and SP on September 1 this year, and again followed up on September 23.

“On Friday too, we went to the SP and DM’s office to submit our second appeal. But there was no positive development,” said Chandan Sau of Kanglapahari Durga Mandir Committee. Sau said that since they have not been able to organise the annual festivity in their village, all women and children have to travel three to eight kilometres to celebrate the occasion in nearby villages.


“A piece of land has already been donated by a villager, Mohanlal Sau, to construct a mud temple in the village where the puja can be organised peacefully. We don’t have to erect any pandal (marquee) as we have put up a mud structure with whatever little amount we could manage. Like the last three years, this year too we started constructing the Durga idol, which is now lying half-done.


District officials are not responding as they don’t want to antagonise the Muslims,” Sau said. When quizzed, Birbhum DM P Mohangandhi tactfully sidestepped the question. He said: “The formal procedure is to submit the appeal to the SDO and he’s the person to issue the necessary permission depending on the law and order situation.

” Dhruba Saha, a local resident, who took up the matter with the local administration, said that a petition had also been filed in Calcutta High Court and there is a hearing on Monday. Sources in the district Trinamool Congress said that police and other district officials have already held meetings at all block levels and finalised on the number of pujas that will be held across Birbhum this year. Thus, there is no question of allowing any new puja anywhere in the district.

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