PATNA—Angry villagers blocked roads, burnt tyres and shouted slogans to protest government’s move to ban Durga puja pandals in view of Covid-19.
The villagers took to streets in Sursand block of Sitamarhi district on Thursday which badly disrupted traffic and crippled business activities for hours together.
The protests followed after the local administration imposed a ban on organising puja pandals, installing idols of Goddess Durga at public places, holding fairs and also taking out immersion processions.
“When the government can hold elections at the time of Covid-19, why can’t they allow Durga puja at public places?” asked the protestors.
They even threatened to boycott the poll process if the administration didn’t allow Durga puja at public places.
They said such festival come only once in a year but they were not being allowed to celebrate. “No puja, no vote,” they shouted.
“Corona kal me jab vidhan sabha chunav par rok nahin hai to Durga puja par kyon (Why the ban on Durga puja celebration when there is no such ban on holding elections at the time of Covid-19)?” the protesters asked.
They were also carrying placards with various slogans which read, “Durga puja nahin to vote nahin”, “Rally aapka tay hai, puja se kyon bhay hai” and “Corona to bahana hai, dharmik anusthan par nishana hai”.
Local assistant district superintendent of police Pramod Kumar Yadav told the media that the people have always been provided information about how to offer puja under the Covid guidelines and that there won’t be any relaxation in the rule.
“Stern action will be taken against those violating the guidelines,” he warned.