The Bengal government informed Calcutta high court on Friday that Durga Puja organizers performing ‘shastra puja’ (weapon worship) within private premises need not seek permission from the administration. The court was hearing a petition by Joydev Talodhi, a priest of the Shree Durga Sevashram, Babupara, Phuleswar Durgabari in Howrah’s Uluberia, complaining that the administration had not responded to applications seeking permission for ‘shastra puja’ on maha ashtami and during sandhi puja. The ritual has allegedly been held at the venue for the past 326 years.
“The state has submitted that within a premise no permission is required for astra puja,” said Phiroze Edulji, the advocate for Talodhi.
“This is a victory for the Hindus. We have no plan to organize processions with weapons, but worshipping weapons is an integral part of Durga puja and the court has clarified that worship of weapon at places of worship does not require permission from anyone,” said Sachindranath Singha, VHP’s in-charge for West Bengal, Odisha, Sikkim and the Andamans.