Sunday, January 23, 2022

Durga Puja celebrations begin in Bangladesh

Durga Puja celebrations began in Bangladesh with the holding of Maha Shashti puja in mandaps across the country. The celebration began with the face of Durga idol being unveiled on Kalparamba in the temples in the morning. The 5-day long Pujo celebration will culminate on 15th October with Vijayadashmi with the immersion of idols in the rivers and waterbodies.
President M. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina felicitated people on the occasion of Durga Puja on Sunday. In his message President Hamid said that Durgotsav is a universal festival proving that religion is for individuals and festival for all. He said Durga Puja is linked to the traditional heritage and culture of the country. It has an important role to play in creating unity and harmony among the countrymen.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her message said that Durga festival symbolises destruction of the evil spirit and worship of truth and beauty. She said that the constitution of Bangladesh ensures equal rights to people of all religions. The country celebrates festivals of all religions, said the Prime Minister.
Durga Puja is the biggest festival of Hindus in Bangladesh. According to the Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad this year 32,118 mandaps will organise Durga Puja across the country which is nearly 2000 more than the last year. Capital city Dhaka itself has 238 puja mandaps this year. However, due to the Corona pandemic, the level of celebration will remain restricted as no cultural programmes like dance competitions, processions, and outdoor activities have been permitted during the pujo.
Police have made extensive security arrangements in the pandals. At prominent Puja locations in Dhaka like the Dhakeshwari temple, Ramakrishna Mission Ashram, Jagannath Hall and Banani puja mandap heavy police presence was visible on the opening day of the celebrations on Monday. CCTV cameras have been placed to ensure security during the pujo. Wearing of masks has been made mandatory for entering the puja mandaps in the city.
However, some incidents of vandalism were reported from places like Chattogram where a statue was vandalised while it was being taken to the mandap for installation on Sunday night. Local people took out a demonstration to the local police station demanding action against the culprits. Police have arrested one person in this regard. A few other incidents of vandalism were also reported from Kushtia, Joypurhat and Ashulia in Savar upazila over the last few days.
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