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Ramakanta Biswas

The Cuttack city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday announced its decision to observe bandh in the city on September 13 to protest the several restrictions imposed by the State government during Durga Puja.

Addressing a presser today, Cuttack Nagar BJP president Lalatendu Badu said, "We are going to observe bandh in Cuttack city on September 13 as a mark of protest over the restrictions imposed by the State government during the festivals."

"Resentments among people over the guidelines issued by the Odisha government, particularly limiting the height of Durga idols to 4 feet, is growing day-by-day. The voice of protest against such guidelines which will hurt the 1000-year-old tradition is getting louder from every nook and corner of the city. The people are finding it difficult to accept this decision of the government."

"The residents of Cuttack fully cooperated and followed all the rules and regulations imposed by the government in view of Covid-19. After reviewing the current situation, the government has eased the restrictions to a great extent and allowed all religious institutions, government and private offices, business establishments, educational institutions, auditoriums and theatres to open. We want to know on what basis the government has imposed several restrictions during the celebrations of Durga Puja," questioned the party.

On August 9, the Odisha Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) issued guidelines for celebrations of Durga Puja and other similar pujas in the State. The size of Durga idol shall be less than 4 feet, the SRC said in its order.

Similarly, more than 7 persons including organisers (Kartas) and priests and support staff will not be allowed in Puja Pandal/Mandap.  

The government has also imposed restriction on immersion procession. The idols will be immersed in the artificial pond(s) created by the local administration for the purpose.

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