'Azaan' At Kolkata Durga Puja Pandal Triggers Controversy

The organisers says it was was in line with the "communal harmony" theme chosen by the committee for this year.

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'Azaan' At Kolkata Durga Puja Pandal Triggers Controversy

Police, however, said they are yet to receive a complaint (Representational)


Kolkata: 

A city Durga Puja committee has triggered a controversy by playing Azaan--a Muslim call for prayer-- along with Sanskrit hymns as the theme music of the festivities.

The organisers says it was was in line with the "communal harmony" theme chosen by the committee for this year's puja.

Santanu Singha, a Calcutta High Court lawyer, said he filed a complaint at Beleghata police station on Friday accusing the organisers of "disturbing peace and tranquility" in West Bengal.

Police, however, said they are yet to receive a complaint.

"I was shocked to find Azaan being played every 10-15 minutes inside the puja pandal. They are saying the theme is communal harmony. What kind of communal harmony are they preaching by hurting the sentiments of Hindus during Durga Puja?" Mr Singha said on Monday.

Mr Singha said he has decided to move court against the organisers.

The chief patron of the puja committee, Trinamool Congress MLA Paresh Pal, said the theme of the puja is "Amra Ek, Eka Noi" (We are one, not alone). He said apart from Azaan, the ''Om'' mantra is also being played.

Hindu Jagran Manch leader Vivek Singh also threatened to move court.

"In the name of puja theme, can we actually play with the theme of Durga Puja, play with our religion. An FIR has been filed at Phoolbagan police station and, if needed, we will take the legal route against Paresh Pal and his associates," Mr Singh said.

Paresh Pal, on the other hand, said the puja pandal has motifs of temple, church and mosque to project the spirit of inclusiveness.

"The puja pandal has motifs of a temple, a church and a mosque to project the spirit of our inclusiveness. We have endeavoured to show that humanity is above barriers in our decoration and theme song," Mr Pal said.

"Let them file an FIR or take the legal route. We will fight it out," he added.



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