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Mamata Warns RSS, VHP Against Disturbing Peace During Durga Puja

Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday slammed the RSS and other right-wing groups for trying to spread hatred and accusing the state government of minority appeasement for banning immersion of Durga idols on Muharram.

“I took the decision to ban idol immersion on Muharram keeping the sentiment of both the communities in mind. Muharram is not an event of joy, it is a mourning ritual. I don’t want any kind of disharmony by allowing immersion (on Vijay Dashami) and Muharram on same day. But some people want to politicise the issue,” Mamata said.

The CM’s comments came a day after Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) said it will perform shastra puja at 300 locations in the state even though Mamata has asked the police to stop such “weapon worship” programmes.

The Trinammol Congress chief said she used to think that RSS believes in “mission culture” and works with dedication but unfortunately that is not the case now. “They are now more into shopping culture. I would like to warn them, please don’t force me open my mouth otherwise they will be embarrassed,” she said.

Mamata warned the right-wing groups against playing with fire. “I would like to advice RSS people that don’t malign your image just because you have to give shelter to BJP. There are groups like VHP, Bajrang Dal, they are all involved in hate politics. I also would like to warn them don’t play with fire.”

Hinting at the division bench of the Calcutta High Court which lauded Mumbai Police for ensuring peace during Muharram and Durga Puja celebration, Mamata said, “I heard someone compared Bengal Police with the Mumbai Police. I would like to tell them Durga puja in Bengal is different from Durga Puja in Mumbai in terms of number of pandals. Those who are comparing, I would like to ask them what will they do if Ganesh Puja and Muharram fall on the same day.”

The CM said it is unfortunate that people are accusing her of appeasement politics. “I am the CM of the state and I have to take care all of all people. I would like to request all political parties to ensure peace during the Puja. I won’t allow any sashtra rallies in Bengal. I will not spare those who will try to organise such a rally in Bengal,” she said.

On Friday, the West Bengal government told the Calcutta HC that immersion of Durga idols can happen till 10pm on September 30, Vijay Dashami. Earlier, the government had said it will be allowed till 6pm.

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