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High value nuisance which has erupted due to immersion procession generating terror over more than half of ancient silk city!
Black out sustaining from last evening, frequent group clashes among different Kali puja organizers, eve teasing and molesting of rural women who assembled to witness the immersion procession and terror which apparently writ large on the streets on which the processing is proceeding to river Ganga are some silent features in this age old tradition of Kali immersion. Above all, vulgar Bhopuri songs with double meaning from full volume DJs, and communal slogans further compounded the problem on the streets here during immersion procession. Normal live virtually thrown out of gear at Bhagalpur today.
Bijay Sharma, a photo journalist with Sahara Samoy TV news channel has been fighting the battle of his life at local Glocal hospital here after he sustained several fatal injuries on his body including sharp head injury on his head last night.
Bijay who was busy in shooting the ‘infamous’ immersion of Goddess Kali procession which stated last mid night, when some dead drunk antisocial elements and revelers of Kali puja attacked him with sharp weapons. Bijay sustained serious head injuries and his hands were fractured with deep wounds caused by sharp weapons. “We are shooting of immersion procession last night when all of sudden group clash was started among two puja organizers. Bijay fell pray in the hands of the groups of people who mostly in dead drunken state and were carrying sharped edge weapons,” recalled Anuj Shivlochan, senior report with the news channel.
Over half dozens puja revelers sustained serious injuries and two persons were referred to Patna with serious condition.
“The situation turned worst, more than half of the city laying in dark since from last evening and power supply hardly could restore not before 1-2 am this night after all the idols will immerse in river Ganga at Musuri Ghat,” said Rama Yadav a native of Khanjarpur locality. Large number of people, social organizations etc have started raising question over the relevancy of such procession which provides much pains and anxieties to the common mass here. They not only blaming such immersion procession during Bishari Puja, Durga Puja and Kali Puja but also during Pahalam of Muharram also. Three people killed recently during Muharram procession at Bhagalpur this time.
Last year the than SDO, Bhagalpur, Kumar Anuj had mooted a comprehensive plan to change this age old tradition into a carnival like the procession of Rathyatra at Jagganath Puri in Orissa or carnival of Goya. “The main aim was to introduce a new concept while adding traditional folk-arts and cultural events in it, the gathering which assemble here could enjoy the cultural events in immersion procession,” said Jayat Jalad, a cultural activist here.
“But it is Bhagalpur and how we could compare it with Goya or Orissa?, the programme postponed finally due to the influence of backward culture which dominated in the entire procession,” alleged Shashi, another cultural activist here.
The puja organizers started assembling at station clawk from last mid night and than started proceeding towards Mushari Ghat for the immersion. The procession passes from different roads and people assembled besides the roads. The devotees queueing up on roadsides also to watch the ‘akharas’ (display of martial arts with the help of weapons) that are part of the procession. The immersion procession covers some 7 km but for covering the distance of 7 Km, it takes more than 24 hours which generates many problems like power cuts in the areas concerned from where the procession passes.
It’s is to be noted here that a body has was created for conducting the immersion with some so called ‘intellectuals’ here. “What hell the committee members doing virtually except enjoying a social status for them. And local administration has been providing patronage to such body which has not at all any relation with the immersion of any idols, it’s utter failure is reflected to control such frequent group clashes during immersion and other irregularities in the immersion procession, alleged observers.
“We know majority of the Kali puja revelers consumed liquor and creating large scale nuisances on the streets in the immersion procession but for the sake of such ‘VIPs’ and to some extent to avoid any further trouble, we are compelled to stay as mute spectators,” admitted a senior cop.
“Bhagalpur, a smart city perhaps unique for such immersion procession which generates tension and destroys communal harmony,” blamed many here. “We conduct puja as per rituals and on the next day immersed the idol of Kali in simple way, there was no procession and we never go to such immersion procession,” said Bilash Kumar Bagchi, general secretary of Kali Bari at Manik Sarkar Ghar road here. Many puja organizers here also follow such tradition of Bengali communities and never go for the such show off.
Despite elaborate security arrangements with deployments of dog squads, RAF (Rapid Action Force), STF and NDRF at strategic places in the district have been made for the immersion of Goddess Kali idols in Bhagalpur, a communally sensitive district, hooligans take commands on the streets here today.
Press club of Eastern Bihar, the body of scribes here, condemned the incident and urged the district administration to take firm action against the concerned puja committees whose members attacked Bijay. Several social organizations also condemned the incident. “We will file a PIL with Patna High court seeking immediate stop of such event which probed to be fatal for all and also caused immense hardship to common men,” said Rajesh Kumar, a social worker here.
While asked, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Bhagalpur, Manoj Kumar acknowledged the rising intensity of the problem related to such immersion. “In modern days smart city has to sit in a big way and think for new solution,” he admitted.