The Bengal government has issued a fresh diktat for idol immersion on Durga Puja. Mamata Banerjee led Bengal government on Friday said that Puja committees, willing to do idol immersion on ‘ekadashi’ or on the day of Muharram must seek prior permission from police.

The administration has been directed to hold meeting with Puja organisers and Muharram observers. Bengal government also said that Puja organisers and Muharram observer must initiate and conclude by Sunday.

The Calcutta High Court on Thursday lifted all the restrictions on Durga Puja immersion imposed by the Bengal government, allowing it till 12 am on all days including on ‘Ashura’, the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram.

Terming the government’s directive as “arbitrary”, the court asked police to designate separate routes for Durga Puja immersions, and Tazia processions on the occasion of Muharram, in the city and ensure adequate security for both.

The bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Rakesh Tiwary gave the orders while hearing three PILs challenging the restrictions on immersion of idols at the end of the five-day Durga Puja festival.

 “The court said the state cannot hinder a citizen’s right to practice religion assuming that there will be law and order problems and asked the government to provide ‘concrete grounds’ for its decision to restrict the immersion,” a counsel associated with the case said after the High Court’s order.