The five-day Durga Puja festivities came to an end today with the immersion of idols passing off peacefully. According to the Kolkata Police, nearly 400 Durga idols were immersed in the city till 6 pm, of the 1,000-odd scheduled for the day, without any untoward incident reported from anywhere.
The organisers of most of the household and community pujas proceeded with the idol immersion at different ghats of the Hooghly river and other waterbodies throughout the state. Besides the police, personnel from the State Civil Defence, civic bodies, Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) and River Traffic Police were also deployed to monitor the immersions, while speed boats of the navy kept a vigil.
Most of the household Durga idols were immersed at the 22 designated ghats under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Police.
The women took part in the 'Sindoor Khela' ritual, smearing vermilion on each other. They offered sweets and prayers to the goddess while the young swayed merrily to the rhythmic beats of the dhak (drums). People were seen exchanging greetings on the occasion of Vijaya Dashami.
Elaborate security arrangements were put in place by the Kolkata Police to ensure security and maintain peace during the immersions.
Among the big community pujas, the idol of the Deshapriya Park puja is scheduled to be immersed today while the rest are scheduled between October 2 and 4.
For the second year in a row, nearly 75 big budget community pujas would participate in a colourful immersion procession in the city on October 3, police officials said. Those living on either side of the Ichamati river -- at Taki in Basirhat and Satkhira in Bangladesh, along the Indo-Bangla border -- witnessed a spectacle. While the immersion of the Durga idols was on from boats at these places, greetings were exchanged between the people from either side of the border.
The immersion of Durga idols will continue on all days from today, including on Muharram (tomorrow), till October 4. The Calcutta High Court had allowed the immersion of idols on all days from Vijaya Dashami onwards, according to the Hindu almanac, including on Muharram. The court had also directed the West Bengal government to make necessary security arrangements in this regard. The state government had earlier imposed restrictions on Durga idol immersions after 10 pm on September 30 and said no immersion would be allowed on Muharram.