Durga Puja is around the corner and Mamata Banerjee is mincing no words. On Saturday, she warned the RSS and its affiliate organisations such as Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad against disturbing peace during Durga Puja, asking them not to “play with fire”, reports The Indian Express. 

Her comments came a day after the VHP decided to go ahead with its plan of a “shastra pujan (weapon worship)” at private and religious institutions during Bijoya Dashami across the state, despite CM Banerjee’s instruction to police to thwart any such event.

Last month, a West Bengal government-owned auditorium, Mahajati Sadan, in Kolkata, cancelled an event on August 31 where RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat was slated to deliver a speech, commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Sister Nivedita.

Jishnu Basu, RSS karyavaha (secretary) for the southern part of Bengal told ScoopWhoop News, "This is a conspiracy. The government in the last three weeks suddenly formed a body, which rejected the sanction that was passed in June for the October event. Also, I don't understand why the Kolkata police is making declarations about a hall being renovated." 

General Secretary of the Sister Nivedita Mission's Trust, Rantideb Sengupta told Indian Express, "While we were about to obtain the NOC from police, the authorities on September 1 informed us that the place was unavailable as it would be under maintenance. We are looking for an alternative venue to hold the event."

The Muharram Issue 

According to insiders, since Bijoya Dashami and Muharram are on September 30 and October 1 this year, the state government is taking no chances since some Hindu groups have planned to conduct arms worship on September 30. Chances are Bhagwat's presence in the city could lead to untoward incidents.

Source: b'A Muharram procession/ Source: AFP\xc2\xa0'

This caution, however, is not misplaced since the West Bengal BJP chief has instructed the party workers to beat up policemen. Hindustan Times quoted BJP president Dilip Ghosh as saying, "If the police refuses to lodge our complain, we will have to beat up those policemen. If Trinamool Congress activists can get away by assaulting the police, why can’t BJP supporters follow the same line."

The Muharram-Idol Immersion clash a brief history 

In 2016, the Calcutta High Court  held the time limits set by the West Bengal government for Durga idol immersion,on account of Muharram, as “arbitrary” and said the order was a “clear endeavour” by the state to “appease the minority section of the public”.

Directing the police and civil administration to work together to identify routes for the immersion processions and for the tazia to be taken out by the Muslim community, taking care to “ensure that the routes do not overlap”, Justice Dutta of the Calcutta High Court had said.