The Greater Chennai City Police have instructed all Vinayaka Chaturthi festival organisers, who are planning to install idols and conduct processions for the festival, that banners/billboards of political parties or religious leaders must not be placed at worship points.
This was discussed at a consultative meeting that was held on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at the Greater Chennai Police Commissionerate, with organisations that are going to install, worship, conduct processions and immerse Vinayakar idols, with the permission of the police.
The meeting was chaired by Additional Commissioner of Police, South, Prem Anand Sinha, along with Joint Commissioners M.R. Sibi Chakravarthi and B. Shamoondeswari. Around 200 representatives from 29 organizations including the Hindu Munnani, Hindu Makkal Katchi, Shiv Sena, Hindu Hanuman Sena, Bharatiya Janata Party, Bharat Hindu Munnani and Vishwa Hindu Parishad, participated.
The police officers issued a set of guidelines to the organisers, for the installation and worship of Vinayakar idols. Owners of land, where the idols are going to be installed, must obtain permission from local bodies concerned, the Highway Department or the appropriate government department. The organisers must also obtain a No Objection Certificate(NOC) from the Fire and Rescue Services Department and Tangedo.
Organisers also need to obtain permission from the police station officer concerned, by filling up the necessary forms for the installation of Vinayakar idols and must undertake to abide by the restrictions and conditions mentioned therein, the police said. Some of the conditions include the height of the statues: they must not exceed 10 feet from the base of the platform. Also, the installation of idols near places of worship, hospitals and educational institutions should be avoided.
Another rule is there must be no shouting or chanting in a manner that incites religious hatred or hurts the sentiments of other religions. Two volunteers from the organisations, must be deputed on a 24-hour rotation basis, to ensure the safety of the idols.
Fire safety rules and regulations must be followed with regard to electrical wire connections; pandals should be monitored periodically to avoid accidents and mishaps. On days permitted by the police for the immersion, idols should be carried on permitted four-wheelers only on permitted routes, and should be peacefully immersed.
The bursting of firecrackers is not allowed in places where Vinayakar idols are installed, on procession routes and during the immersion and the directions of the Madras High Court in this regard, and the State government’s rules must be followed at all times, the police have instructed.