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People enter Rabindra Sarobar by breaking open locks

Press Trust of India  |  Kolkata 

Around 200 people on Saturday morning broke open locks of two gates of Rabindra Sarobar here to perform Chhat puja rituals in the waters of the lake.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) in a directive to the West Bengal government on October 14, 2019 had directed it to ensure that there is no violation of its 2017 order banning any ritual for Chhat puja or other festivals in the Rabindra Sarobar lake.

An official of the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA), the custodian of the lake, confirming the forcible entry of some people into Rabindra Sarobar said, "we are talking to concerned officials. We will see whatever can be done."

Sumita Banerjee, a member of the Lake Lovers Forum, an NGO alleged that 200 people broke open the locks at the two gates, tore the posters and notices put up by the lake custodian Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) and entered a part of the premises forcefully at around 9-9.30 am.

Vinod Jha, who allegedly entered the Rabindra Sarobar lake said, "We have been offering Chhat puja at Rabindra Sarobar for ages. We will not go to any other place. If we are stopped forcibly we will sit at the spot and perform our ritual there."

Spread over 192 acres, Rabindra Sarovar is an artificial lake in South Kolkata and boasts of rich biodiversity with many bird species living in the trees.

A KMDA official had earlier said that that all the 15 gates of the Rabindra Sarobar lake would be locked on November 2. It would be kept locked till 11 am of November 3.

Last year thousands of people had entered into Rabindra Sarobar lake and offered Chhat puja rituals in the waters of the lake.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, November 02 2019. 14:35 IST