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Durga Puja Relaxation: Fully Vaccinated Can Take Part In Rituals, says Calcutta HC

Kolkata: The Calcutta High Court, which had last week banned entry of visitors in Durga Puja pandals in West Bengal, on Thursday relaxed some of the curbs during the ensuing festivities.

Unlike last year, local residents will be able to take part in puja rituals like pushpanjali (worshipping with flowers) and sindur khela (playing with vermilion), provided they are fully vaccinated.

“The court said that local residents who have already received both doses, may take part in puja activities such as sindur khela and pushpanjali. Certificates of double vaccination would have to be submitted to the organizers. Police would conduct spot verification. All other curbs imposed by the court in its earliest order remain the same,” said advocate Sabyasachi Chatterjee.

On October 1, the court directed organizers to put up barricades — 10 metres away from outer end of big pandals and 5 metres from outer end of smaller pujas — to make puja pandals a no-entry zone for visitors. Last year, too, the high court had passed a similar no-entry order s to check the spread of COVID-19.

Durga Puja is the biggest annual festival in West Bengal, spread over five days. This year, Durga Puja starts on October 11.

Of the 36,000 community pujas organized across the state, 2,500 are held in Kolkata alone.

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