Goa Diwali, marked by demon slaying ceremony

Panaji: Giant effigies of mythological demon Narakasur are visible on every street of Goa, that will be set on fire tonight as a prelude to Diwali festival. Hindu mythology has it that Narakasur demon was killed by Lord Krishna. Several towns are even hosting Narakasur effigy competitions, in which, those who create the ugliest of Narakasur demon, walk away with a prize.

"Larger the better, you can say crueler the better or uglier the better," said Eknath Naik, a member of a group in Ponda.

The run-up to Diwali festivities is marked with youths coming together to prepare Narakasur effigy at the roadside of their locality. The effigies are taken out in a parade later in the day. However, these competitions have come under the scanner of Goa Police, after activists affiliated to Sanatan Sanstha, had allegedly tried to trigger serial bomb blasts on that day two years ago. The organisation is opposed to such events, as saying these competitions indulge in the glorification of the demon.

Superintendent of Police (North) Arvind Gawas said that advisories have been issued to competition organisers and special vigil would be maintained at the location where there is possibility of trouble.