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No Diwali on Shyama Puja in Bangladesh on Nov 4

Dhaka, Oct 22 (UNI): In the backdrop of unprecedented violence this year during Durga Puja celebrations in Bangladesh, the puja organiser body here on Friday decided to pause Diwali celebrations on November 4 and instead give more prominence to Shyama Puja (worship of goddess Kali) that falls on the same day. Protests against communal disharmony have also been called on the day.

Nirmal Kumar Chatterjee, general secretary of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad, said, “This time Diwali festival has been boycotted during Shyama Puja. But idols will be worshiped.”

He was speaking at a press conference at the Dhakeshwari National Temple in the capital here on the issue of attacks, looting, vandalism and arson in puja pandals across the country between October 13 and 15.

He told the media that Shyama Puja and Diwali will be celebrated on November 4.

In view of the recent events, Diwali will not be celebrated in Shyama Puja. On that day, from 6 pm for 15 minutes, a symbolic protest program titled ‘Stand up against communal evil’ will be held by covering one’s face with black cloth.

He said a rumour was being spread that there would be no worship. “This is not true. We will worship, everyone will worship,” Chatterjee said.

In a written statement on behalf of the Bangladesh Puja Celebration Council, it was said the families of the victims should be compensated and the injured should be given proper aid and treatment. If applicable, arrangements should be made to recruit family members of the deceased in government service.

The special tribunal will have to ensure exemplary punishment to the perpetrators and take steps to bring the real culprits to justice.

President of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad Milon Kanti Dutta presided over a press conference that was also attended by his predecessor Kajal Debnath, besides the parishad’s adviser Jayant Sen, Dhaka Metropolitan Puja Udjapan Parishad chief Shailen Majumder, General Secretary Kishore Mandal among others.

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