Kolkata: A petition has been filed in the Calcutta High Court on Wednesday (October 14) seeking to stop the Durga Puja celebrations in West Bengal in view of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The case is scheduled to be heard by a division bench of the Chief Justice on Thursday (October 15). 

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The plea, filed by advocate Sabyasachi Chatterjee, said that the Ganesh Puja and Muharram celebrations were not allowed in Maharashtra in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rising number of cases.

Earlier, the state government had announced a slew of COVID-19-related guidelines for pandal organisations as well as for the people visiting the pandals.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee directed that pandals need to be open from all four sides, adding "Hand sanitizers should be placed at entry points of pandals, and the wearing of masks to be mandatory. Physical distancing protocols should be adhered to at all public places." 

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However, this year no cultural programmes would be allowed at the pandals.

Mamata Banerjee said, “I am requesting all to keep Durga puja pandal open and spacious. If sides are covered, then keep the roof open. If the roof is closed, then keep sides open. Also, maintain physical distancing.”