The Durga Puja festival in the state culminated on a safe and peaceful note today despite the general apprehension regarding the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the law and order situation.
The idols of the goddess and her entourage were immersed on Vijaya Dashami in keeping with the health protocols issued by the government across Meghalaya.
A total of 253 Durga Pujas were performed in Meghalaya this year, 122 in the Khasi Hills, 44 in Jaiñtia Hills and 117 in Garo Hills.
In Shillong, of the total 67 pujas, 23 were performed with idols measuring a maximum of five feet in height, while the rest of the pujas were performed by worshipping the traditional ‘ghot/kalash’ or earthen pots. No cultural programmes were held during the festivities.
“With the weather becoming bright on the last day of the Durga Puja on Navami (Sunday), people came out in good numbers, even as they filed into the various puja pandals adhering to all safety norms and with utmost discipline,” said a member of a puja committee in Shillong.
Meanwhile, only 15 persons, with one heavy and two light vehicles, were allowed to proceed towards the immersion ghat to immerse the idols and nine people in three light vehicles were permitted to come to the ghat without idols.
The Central Puja Committee (CPC) had posted more than 50 volunteers on the immersion route in Shillong for smooth and incident-free immersions.
Crowds of onlookers were forbidden from gathering near the immersion ghat or Wah Umkhrah river.
“The CPC had already organized a cleaning drive before the Puja on October 18 and one was organized on October 26, the day after the immersion,” CPC General Secretary, JL Das said.
Reports of peaceful celebrations of the pujas and immersion of the Durga idols have also come in from other parts of the state, even as people have been celebrating Vijaya Dashami in their households, instead of undertaking traditional community get-togethers this time.