Five-day DURGA Pujo celebrations have commenced across Bangladesh amid some incidents of vandalism reported from Chattogram where a statue was vandalised while it was being taken to the mandap for installation on Sunday night. Local people took out a demonstration to the local police station demanding action against the culprits. Police have arrested one person in this regard. A few other incidents of vandalism were also reported from Kushtia, Joypurhat and Ashulia in Savar. Meanwhile, it is claimed that Durga Pujo, the biggest festival of Hindus living in Bangladesh, is being celebrated in 32,118 mandaps, about 2,000 more compared to last year. Capital city Dhaka has 238 puja mandaps this year. In Dhaka city, the main puja mandaps are Dhakeshwari National Temple, Ramakrishna Mission and Math, Kalabagan, Banani, Shakhari Bazar and Ramna Kali Mandir. The Ministry of Religious Affairs and Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad leaders urged all devotees to properly maintain health guidelines and directives were issued by the government in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic during the Durga Puja celebrations. Due to the Corona pandemic, the level of celebration will remain restricted as no cultural programmes like dance competitions, processions, and outdoor activities have been permitted during the celebrations. President M. Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have felicitated people on the occasion of Durga Puja. President Hamid said that Durgotsav is a universal festival proving that religion is for individuals and a festival for all. He said Durga Puja is linked to the traditional heritage and culture of the country. It has an important role to play in creating unity and harmony among the countrymen. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in her message said that the Durga festival symbolises the destruction of the evil spirit and worship of truth and beauty. She said that the constitution of Bangladesh ensures equal rights to people of all religions. The country celebrates festivals of all religions, said the Prime Minister. Police have made extensive security arrangements in the pandals. Edited by PK Chakravarty. Courtesy: AIR, Dhaka Tribune.
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