Deity without Devotee, Deshapriya Durga Stands Lonely

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Kolkata: The biggest puja hype this year, Deshapriya Park Durga idol boasting a height of 88 feet stands tall and lonely deprived of devotees amid a few organizers and a priest offering the deity puja.

The Kolkata Police have closed access to the year’s most hyped Durga Puja on Monday.

The development comes a day after a near-stampede, close to the puja pandal at south Kolkata’s Deshapriya Park, where several people were injured. The idol of the goddess Durga is 88 feet and has been touted as the “largest” of the world in Deshapriya Park.

On Monday afternoon, Commissioner of Police Surajit Kar Purkayastha virtually declared the “largest” Puja illegal. “The Deshapriya Park Puja is closed for the year on the grounds of non-compliance with rules for holding such an event,” Mr. Purakayastha told the journalists. He also said that the decision was taken keeping the safety of the people in mind.

As for the organisers flouting the Calcutta High Court’s direction, which has capped the height of idol at 40 feet, Mr. Purokayasta said that the “final height of the idol came to [their] view much later” once the Puja was inaugurated on Saturday cricketer Sourav Ganguly. Many think the argument is “funny” as Star Cement spent millions in putting up billboards across the city over last several months.

A senior police official admitted that the Puja did not get clearance from the local police station. Asked why no action was initiated against the organisers, he said: “We thought the matter will be resolved. We are not dealing with criminals here.”

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