JAIPUR: The refusal to permit people to burn a Ravana effigy in Jaipur’s Pratap Nagar area on Dussehra due to COVID-19 guidelines has led to the local police being dragged to court.
The Pratap Nagar police had reportedly seized an effigy of Ravana during Dussehra celebrations in the city when a group of people were planning to burn it.
Due to the Corona crisis, the state government had banned mass functions and effigy burning on Dussehra. The SHO of Pratap Nagar police station had kept the seized Ravana effigy in the Thana premises.
Expressing their unhappiness with this intervention, the Pratap Nagar Resident Welfare Association approached the local court against the police action and demanded the return of the effigy of Ravana.
"Police found only four to five people on the spot. So, there is no violation of the law. If the police have confiscated the effigy, under what law was it taken by them," the organiser of the event Vikas Somani asked.
Somani says there is a distinct possibility of the effigy getting spoiled if it continues to lie in the open at the police station.
The police taking the effigy into its custody also angered some people in Jodhpur, the hometown of CM Ashok Gehlot.
A resident from Sardarpura area of Jodhpur, Purushottam Sharma claimed in a letter to CM Gehlot that the police action of taking away the effigy of Ravana amounts to hurting people's religious sentiments.
Sharma argued that "Ravana is the son-in-law of Jodhpur and keeping his effigy in a Police Thana is an insult to the people of Jodhpur and Rajasthan. Stern action should be taken against the police officer who insulted people's sentiments."
According to tradition, Mandodari, the wife of Ravana, was from Mandore, a town located nine km from Jodhpur. Ravana is treated as a son-in-law by some local Brahmins and a temple dedicated to him still exists in Jodhpur.
Now, the Jaipur Mahanagar Court-5 has asked the Pratap Nagar police to explain under what law they had seized the effigy.
The court had even asked the SHO to appear before it on Friday but as the SHO was held up with the recruitment of cops, the case will now be heard on Monday.