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Bengal BJP performs 'shahid tarpan' for slain party activists despite Kolkata Police's opposition


KOLKATA: The West Bengal BJP on Wednesday performed 'shahid tarpan' for slain party activists despite the Kolkata Police trying to prevent them from organising the event, citing the prevailing COVID-19 situation.

The police also dismantled a stage erected at the Bagbazar Ghat in north Kolkata for the event.

The saffron party, however, changed the venue to Golabari Ghat near Bagbazar and performed the rituals on the eve of Mahalaya.

'Tarpan' is a ritual in which water is offered to the ancestors with prayers for peace to the departed souls.

It is performed on occasions like Mahalaya, which marks the beginning of Durga Puja festivities, and Makar Sankranti along the banks of Ganga.

"The BJP had not taken permission for the event. So, we decided to stop the programme and dismantled the stage," a senior police officer said.

Police has put up barricades outside the Bagbazar Ghat to prevent BJP activists from entering the area.

"The party will not relent under pressure from the police and will go ahead with the 'tarpan' programme," West Bengal BJP vice-president Pratap Banerjee had said earlier.

BJP national general secretary and West Bengal minder, Kailash Vijayvargiya, central co-observer Arvind Menon, national secretary Rahul Sinha, and senior leader Mukul Roy were scheduled to be present at the programme, party sources said.

"Do we need permission to perform 'tarpan' for our slain workers? It is a Hindu ritual which being performed for ages.

"Mahalaya is on September 17 but we decided to organise our event a day before so that there are fewer attendees. But we were told we will not be allowed to organise the programme," Banerjee said.

Since last year, the BJP has been organising "mass tarpan" for party workers killed in political violence in West Bengal in the last few years.

JP Nadda, the then BJP national working president, had performed "mass tarpan" for the slain party workers in September last year.