The Calcutta High Court has declared all Durga Puja pandals across West Bengal no-entry zones for devotees primarily to prevent the surge of COVID-19 cases in the state. A division bench comprising Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee said that only , while hearing a public interest litigation, said that 15 to 25 persons from the organising committees would be allowed to enter puja pandals.
Known as pandal hopping, visiting puja pandals during Durga Puja is an integral part of Bengali culture. However, West Bengal has witnessed a considerable surge in the COVID-19 cases with the state reporting more than 3.2 lakh positive cases and more than 6,000 deaths from the deadly virus so far.
A report by news agency PTI said that the organisers of smaller pandals will have to erect barricades five metres from the entrance, while for the bigger ones, the distance has to be 10 metres. The organisers will have to prominently display ‘no-entry’ boards on the barricades.
The high court directed the police to adequately publicise its order. The DIG and Commissioner of Police have been told to submit a compliance report after Lakshmi Puja by 5 November.
LIVE UPDATES on the big stories of the day will appear below:
18:41 PM: Press Council of India asks print media to refrain from publishing any article that in any manner predicts results of upcoming elections between October 28-November 7. (PTI)
18:30 PM: Postponement of elective surgeries, revenue loss from the highly profitable medical tourism segment & increasing safety & sanitisation costs amid #COVID19 will lead to a 35-40% reduction in the operating profits of pvt #hospitals this fiscal, domestic rating agency #Crisil said. (IANS)
17:52 PM: #Biharpolls: Election Commission bans parties, candidates and others from publishing political advertisements on polling day and a day prior to it unless their contents are pre-certified by screening committees. (PTI)
16:50 PM: Assets worth Rs 22.42 crore, including a cinema hall and a hotel in Mumbai, of late gangster Iqbal Mirchi’s family attached in connection with a money laundering case: Enforcement Directorate. (PTI)
16:03 PM: Punjab Assembly passes four bills, adopts resolution against Centre’s new farm laws. (PTI)
15:21 PM: Rahul Gandhi disapproves of Madhya Pradesh Congress chief Kamal Nath’s ‘item’ remark against Minister Imarti Devi; Says it’s unfortunate. (PTI)
14:28 PM: Facing opposition over the upcoming Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-#Goa campus in #Guleli village, the @BJP4Goa on Tuesday invoked memories of late Chief Minister #ManoharParrikar, saying the institution could be seen as his legacy. (IANS)
13:51 PM: In a major development, the #CBI probing the #Hathras case in which a Dalit girl was allegedly gang raped and later died of injuries, has found that one of the four accused, is a minor according to his school records. (IANS)
13:07 PM: PM Modi will be sharing a message for citizens at 6 PM today.
आज शाम 6 बजे राष्ट्र के नाम संदेश दूंगा। आप जरूर जुड़ें।
Will be sharing a message with my fellow citizens at 6 PM this evening.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 20, 2020
12:13 PM: Chhattisgarh: A minor girl, who was allegedly raped in Basantpur area of Balrampur, attempts suicide by consuming poison. (ANI)
Chhattisgarh: A minor girl, who was allegedly raped in Basantpur area of Balrampur, attempts suicide by consuming poison
"After incident on 16th Oct, girl consumed poison & was hospitalised for 2 days. Team has been sent to arrest accused," says Prashant Katalam, ASP, Balrampur pic.twitter.com/MAjXxX4rkf
— ANI (@ANI) October 20, 2020
11:45 AM: In a shocking incident, a 7-year-old boy allegedly sexually assaulted his five-and-a-half-year-old neighbour in #Aligarh , police said and have registered a #POCSO case. (IANS)
10:57 AM: #UttarPradesh has set a record of creating 26.1 crore man-days under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (#MGNREGS) in just six months against the annual target of 26 crore. (IANS)
10:08 AM: Active COVID-19 cases in country stand at 7,48,538, while 67,33,328 people have recovered from the disease: Union Health Ministry. (PTI)
09:24 AM: Madhya Pradesh: Indore Police have registered an FIR against BJP leader Dinesh Bhawsar for alleged violation of COVID-19 guidelines during Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s roadshow on October 19 in Sanwer Tehsil. (ANI)