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Orissa HC allows Durga Puja in Cuttack

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq gave the directive while hearing a petition filed by Balubazar Puja Committee.

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Monday gave its stamp of approval to holding Durga Puja in Cuttack by adhering to COVID-19 guidelines issued by the state and Central governments.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice Mohammad Rafiq gave the directive while hearing a petition filed by Balubazar Puja Committee.

The puja committee had filed a PIL in the high court appealing it to direct the state government to allow the festival with an assurance that it would be held with strict adherence to COVID-19 guidelines.

“The High Court has allowed our petition for holding the puja by adhering to COVID-19 guidelines issued by the Government of India and the State government”, petitioner Suryakant Sangneria, president of the puja committee, said.

The puja committee had sought permission for making clay idol of Goddess Durga, perform puja at the ‘mandap’ without mass gathering and take out a simple procession to immerse the idol, Sangneria said.

The district administration that was initially reluctant to give permission for organising Durga Puja this year, in view of the pandemic, has now allowed all other puja committees to observe the puja in a simple manner.

The administration has also asked the puja committees not to hold the Durga Puja immersion (Bhasani) in a grand manner.

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