Staff Reporter

Representatives of puja pandals tried to extend the immersion date

Several organisers immerse the half-finished idols

BERHAMPUR: The immersion of idols of Lord Ganesh in curfew-bound Jeypore town in Koraput district passed off peacefully on Friday.

Night curfew still continues in Jeypore which had faced severe communal tension on Saturday last. The administration allowed Ganesh Puja to be held under tight security.

But due to the tense situation the pandal parties were ordered to immerse the idols on Friday.

The immersion ceremony was done during the curfew relaxation period, during the day. Earlier processions were taken out during the night in Jeypore.

Strict orders

On Friday morning representatives of the more than 50 Ganesh puja pandals tried hard to make administration and police agree for an extension of the date of immersion of the idols.

They requested the Jeypore chamber of commerce to mediate. A delegation led by president of the local chamber of commerce, Anjani Agarwal met the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of police, south-western range, Sanjib Panda with the request. But DIG Sanjib Panda as well as the administration did not budge from their stance.

The immersion ceremony started in the afternoon and continued till late in the evening amidst tight security, which was supervised by the personnel from the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and Orissa State Armed Police (OSAP).

Although the curfew period started at 6 pm, police was slightly slack to let the immersion procession finish up their rituals which continued till 7 p.m.

Several pandals had to immerse large half-finished Ganesh idols. The idols at pandals of ‘Global Group’, MG road, P.R. Peta could not be completed for Ganesh Puja due to the communal violence and the curfew . Small idols of the deity were worshipped at these pandals.

At the instruction of the police and administration the half-finished idols were also immersed .

BJD protest

In the afternoon the BJD activists staged dharna for few hours in all the 28 wards of the Jeypore town demanding lifting of curfew.

They alleged that candidates were unable to campaign due to curfew.

There were no reports of any violence from any part of Koraput district.

But according to sources a Ganesh idol at a puja pandal was allegedly broken and desecrated by miscreants at Banuaguda village under Kundra police station about 28 kilometers from Jeypore town on Thursday night.

Armed police force has been deployed in the area to avoid any escalation of tension.