Updated: September 21, 2021 9:08:32 am
As many as 44 people, including 20 from the same Ganesh mandal in Parel, were booked in Mumbai for violating Covid-19 pandemic guidelines on the last day of the 10-day Ganeshotsav on Sunday.
A police officer from Kalachowki police station said, “The Ganesh mandal gathered a large crowd at Dattaray Lad Road at the time of Visarjan and violated Covid-19 norms and orders of police.”
An FIR was registered against the members of Chintamani Ganesh Mandal in Parel under sections 188, 269, 270, 285, 141 and 143 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) read with 37(1)(3),135 of Maharashtra Police Act. The police also arrested 20 members of the mandal who were later granted bail.
Overall, in Mumbai, 11 FIRs were registered against 44 people. A maximum of six FIRs, including the one against the mandal, were registered for crowding in public places, two for roaming without a valid reason and one each against a hotel for violating guidelines, an individual for not wearing masks, and a pan-beedi shop for remaining open beyond the permitted hours.
Out of the 11 FIRs, six were in northern suburbs, three in western suburbs and two in central Mumbai. No FIRs were registered in the south and east region of Mumbai.
During the 10-day festival from September 10 to 17, the police lodged 52 FIRs for violating pandemic guidelines against 211 people and seized 141 vehicles.
Mumbai Police officials said due to curbs in place, very few people were seen at the beaches on the last day of the Ganeshotsav for immersion rituals – a departure from the pre-pandemic era when the celebrations used to draw the biggest crowd among all festivals in Mumbai.
A number of immersions took place in artificial ponds made by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). At the beaches, the devotees had to hand over their Ganesh idols to BMC staff, who completed the immersion rituals.
Like last year, the police had not given permission to take out processions and restricted the gathering to not more than five persons in public places. Besides, only 10 fully vaccinated people were permitted to carry the idols to the immersion point. Unlike the past celebrations, neither was any music played nor did bursting of crackers take place. Several devotees, however, came out on roads to catch a glimpse of the idol and bid adieu to the Lord.
“At Girgaon beach, there was hardly any crowd compared to the pre-pandemic era when lakhs of people used to be present. The entire process went smoothly,” said Rajendra Chavan, assistant police commissioner, Girgaon division.
The same scenes were witnessed at Shivaji Park — another major immersion point in Dadar (west).
“The crowd was minimal and most of them cooperated with the police. The crowd was nothing compared to what used to be there before the pandemic,” said Satish Kasbe, senior inspector of Shivaji Park police station.
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