Calcutta High Court Allows ‘Dhakis’ at Durga Puja Pandals
Hearing a petition over setting up of pandals during Durga Puja, Calcutta High Court today allowed ‘dhakis’ to be present outside the no-entry zone in each pandal. The court said for smaller pandals, 15 persons are allowed, while 60 people are allowed for larger pandals.
As Bengal’s biggest festival, Durga Puja celebrations begin from tomorrow, the Calcutta High Court on Oct 21 eased its order which declared pandals “no-entry zones” for visitors amid the coronavirus pandemic.
About 400 top Durga Puja organizers in the state capital appealed for a review of the order, the court today allowed entry of up to 45 people at a time. The organizers from Durgotsav Forum, which are part of an umbrella body of Durga Puja organizers, had approached the court on Tuesday.
The traditional drum players or ‘Dhakis’, now will be allowed to perform in “a limited number”, outside the no-entry zone at each pandal, the court said today, but also added that the list of persons allowed should be fixed on daily basis. These lists will be put outside the pandals every day at 8 am.
While the larger pandals — which have an area of more than 300 sq metre — can list up to 60 people however no more than 45 people will be allowed at a time. The smaller pandals can list up to 15 people.
The court refused to pass any orders on the appeals to allow two important rituals — Anjali and Sindoor Khela.