The five-day Durga Puja festivities in West Bengal concluded on Friday with the idol immersion ceremony that saw the participation of only a restricted number of people at the river ghats across the state amid adherence to COVID-19 protocols.
Colourful processions were taken out by enthusiasts in the state capital and districts as the police maintained strict vigil everywhere to ensure that no untoward incident takes place.
During the day, women participated in the traditional ''sindur khela'' (smearing of vermillion on each other's faces) and offered sweets to the goddess before bidding her adieu for the year.
According to a senior officer of the Kolkata Police, adequate security arrangements were made for "peaceful" observance of the idol immersion ceremony.
Drones were used for surveillance and CCTVs were fitted at the ghats, the officer said.
Several temporary waterbodies were set up in the city and elsewhere for immersion, he stated.
Around 1,200 idols were immersed at different ghats in the city till 9.45 pm, the senior officer said.
Heavy cranes were seen used pull out the idols from the river, shortly after the ceremony, to avoid water pollution, he added.
Chants of ''asche bochor abar hobe'' (until next year) rent the air throughout the day.
The state government cancelled the annual Durga Puja carnival at Red Road for the second consecutive year, owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee greeted one and all on the occasion of Dashami and prayed for the well being of the people of the state.
Governor Jagdeep Dhankhar also conveyed his best wishes to people on the occasion.