Chhattisgarh: Police lathi-charge on Durga puja procession in Bilaspur for playing music, seize vehicles carrying idols for immersion

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— Consider reading the article Chhattisgarh: Police lathi-charge on Durga puja procession in Bilaspur for playing music, seize vehicles carrying idols for immersion on OpIndia website —

While the shocking images of the shameful incident in Munger has haunted the minds of the public, a similar incident occurred in Bilaspur of Chhattisgarh, where police performed a lathi charge on the devotees carrying procession during Durga immersion, reportedly injuring some.

According to local reports, the incident occurred at 10:30 pm on Tuesday near the city Kotwali thana. About 10 processions were on the way to immersion, dancing to the tunes of music paying on music systems on vehicles. But when one of the Durgotsav Samiti group from Telipara area reached near the police station on the way, the police confiscated the DJ vehicle saying that the allowed time to play music has expired. Not just that, the police also stopped the vehicle carrying the Durga idol from further carrying the procession.

When members of the Durgotsav Samiti group pleaded the police to release the vehicle, they were refused. The arguments led to a clash and by the orders of TI Kaleem Khan, the police used lathi-charge to disperse the crowd. This led to chaos among other Durga processions as well and people ran to save their lives.

Locals on twitter were quick to make the comparison of the Bilaspur incident to the one that happened in Munger, Bihar where the police performed lathi charge on the people during Durga immersion procession.

Locals on Twitter were quick to make the comparison of the Bilaspur incident to the one that happened in Munger, Bihar where the police performed lathi charge on the people during Durga immersion procession.

Ironically, this year there were far less processions due to covid-19, but it was reportedly the first time that the processions with DJ vehicles were stopped after 10:30 and the police had to retort to lathi charge to enforce law and order. It is also alleged that a head constable beat one of the members of the procession which also angered people.

The SP Umesh Kashyap urged that there shall be FIR on those who entered the police premises. According to the TI Kaleem Khan, the crowd had entered the police premises and they merely dispersed the crowds and there was no lathi charge. But people who posted the videos on social media claim otherwise.

While the Munger incident has raised a pertinent question of allowing to celebrate one’s rituals and customs as guaranteed by the fundamental rights in Constitution, the Bilaspur incident has eradicated the myth that Munger was one of its kind. Questions about high handedness of police and overall police reforms have also started to gain voice.

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